Gov. Brown signs net neutrality bill

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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill Monday withholding state business from internet providers who throttle traffic, finalizing a proposal aimed at thwarting moves by federal regulators to relax net neutrality requirements.

The bill stops short of actually putting new requirements on internet service providers in the state, but blocks the state from doing business with providers that offer preferential treatment to some internet content or apps, starting in 2019. The prohibition applies to cities and counties, but exempts areas with only a single provider.

Brown signed the measure Monday at Mount Tabor Middle School, highlighting the importance of the internet as a tool for education and the need to keep it on a level playing field.

'When the federal government is moving backward, in terms of freedom and access, Oregon has taken a strong stand in favor of net neutrality by signing this legislation," Gov. Brown said Monday.

I’m very proud to sign Oregon’s #NetNeutrality bill into law today. It's very important that the internet remains open and accessible for everyone.— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) April 9, 2018

Brown spoke and signed the bill in the school's library after hearing from three Mount Tabor seventh-grade students who spoke in support of the bill.

The girls testified in favor of the bill earlier this year and thanked their teachers and classmates for their dedication and support Monday.

Gov. Brown's move follows a December vote by the Federal Communications Commission repealing rules that prohibited preferential treatment by internet providers. A group of states had already challenged the new rules, which are set to take effect April 23.

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