PROVIDENCE — State Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy, the Speaker Pro Tempore of the House, has introduced legislation with state Sen. Louis P. DiPalma (D-Middletown, Little Compton, Newport, Tiverton) that would prohibit the state and its municipalities from entering into contracts with any internet service provider who engages in business practices that were prohibited by recently repealed net neutrality rules.
“When net neutrality rules were enacted, it was ensured that everyone would have access to an open and equal internet. With the repeal of these rules, such open and fair access to the internet is in jeopardy,” said Kennedy, who represents the 38th district towns of Hopkinton and Westerly. “As a state we must ensure that these practices will not affect state and municipal contracts in order to protect Rhode Island consumers and local small businesses. It is my hope that this legislation will send a clear message to internet service providers that Rhode Island will not tolerate any business practices that abuse our residents and businesses.”
The Federal Communications Commission recently repealed net neutrality rules that were established in 2015. The rules prohibited internet service providers from blocking or slowing down certain web content. The rules also prohibited providers from slowing down certain web sites if they did not pay for faster internet speeds.