Massachusetts Lawmakers Consider State Net Neutrality Rules

FILE – In this Dec. 3, 2009, file photo, a sign outside the Comcast Center is seen in Philadelphia. Under a President Donald Trump, cable and phone companies could gain new power to influence what you do and what you watch online, not to mention how much privacy you have while you’re at it. During the campaign, Trump spoke out several times against media giants and that he might look at breaking up Comcast and NBCUniversal. But some analysts think that with Republicans in charge of agencies like the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice, mergers are more likely to sail through. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

BOSTON (AP) — Beacon Hill lawmakers are pushing legislation they say will help make sure the internet remains as level a playing field as possible, even after U.S. regulators rolled back federal “net neutrality” rules.

A bill under consideration by the Massachusetts Senate aims to promote net neutrality through state government contracts and by targeting practices like blocking or “throttling” down the speed of some internet content, while prioritizing other content.

The bill is a response to the decision in December by the Federal Communications Commission to gut Obama-era rules designed to prohibit internet providers from slowing or blocking customer access to apps and sites.

Tim Wilkerson, vice president of the New England Cable and Telecommunications Association, says the group’s members support the principles of net neutrality but oppose the Senate bill.

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