Oregon bill for net neutrality heading to governor with help of - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon bill for net neutrality heading to governor with help of 3 middle school students

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A bill that would bring a local version of net neutrality to Oregon is headed for the Governor's desk.

House Bill 4155 would prevent public bodies such as state and local governments and school districts, from contracting with broadband providers that engage in "paid prioritization."

An example of paid prioritization would be a provider supplying faster internet speeds to an entity like Amazon's streaming service, provided Amazon pays an extra fee.

The bill passed easily in both the House and Senate, despite opposition from several Republicans.

Leading up to the bill's passage, three students from Mt. Tabor Middle School testified in support of net neutrality in Salem.

"It isn't common that kids get very involved in this, and it shows just how important this issue is to us," Luca Larsen-Utsumi, who spoke in front of the House Committee on Rules said.

The bill also had support from the Oregon tech sector. Founder and former CEO of the Portland-based software company Puppet, Luke Kanies, also testified in support.

"I can't tell necessarily that one provider is paying and one isn't.  It just looks to me like that provider is good and that one isn't. And in the back end, someone's getting millions of dollars," Kanies said.

The Oregon Cable Telecommunications Association opposed the bill, as did Comcast and Century Link, two local broadband providers.

In a written statement, Century Link said it "supports the ability of all its customers to access lawful content," and that "state regulation of something as critical as the global internet ecosystem is not the right approach to achieve that goal."

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