Lawmakers want state to take up ‘net neutrality’ fight | Minnesota Public Radio News

A pair of Democratic legislators proposed Tuesday that Minnesota toughen state standards for internet service providers just as the federal government is giving them more flexibility in pricing and content control.

State Sen. Ron Latz of St. Louis Park and Rep. Paul Thissen of Minneapolis said lawmakers should step up in response to a Federal Communication Commission decision last week to do away with what’s called the net neutrality rule. That rule barred internet providers from setting prices based on the type of content or from blocking certain sites.

Thissen said the bill they will push next year session would leverage Minnesota’s regulatory power to guarantee equal access.

“The state of Minnesota and local governments are the ones who give internet service providers the easements, the pole attachment agreements, the rights of way to be able to do business here,” said Thissen, who is also a candidate for governor. “There is absolutely no reason that we should not make sure that when we grant those awards to those companies that we don’t ask something in return.”

The FCC has yet to issue its final order. It’s unclear whether that will bar states from imposing barriers to states that would craft additional regulations.

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Lawmakers want state to take up ‘net neutrality’ fight | Capitol View | Minnesota Public Radio News.

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