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Oregon senate passes net neutrality bill

[JURIST] Oregon senators on Thursday voted for a bill [HB 4155 materials] that seeks to preserve net neutrality protections for the internet.

The Oregon house voted on and passed the bill earlier in the week.

The bill does not require all internet providers to treat all internet content the same, but it prohibits state agencies from purchasing internet services from any ISP that priorities some content over others. The bill strictly prohibits state agencies from contracting with providers that block "lawful content, applications or services or nonharmful devices, [i]mpair[] or degrade[] lawful Internet traffic for the purpose of discriminating against or favoring certain Internet content, applications or services or the use of nonharmful devices;. ... [u]nreasonably interfere[] with or unreasonably disadvantage[] an end user's ability to select, access and use the broadband Internet access service or lawful Internet content, applications or services or devices of the end user's choice."

The bill would not apply to pre-existing contracts and would only affect those entered into after January 1, 2019. It would, however, affect contract renewals or extensions if they are conducted after that date.

The Oregon bill is just one of the actions by supporters of net neutrality to come after the Federal Communications Commission voted in December to repeal net neutrality [JURIST report], which could allow providers to selectively block or slow content on the internet.

The bill will now head to Governor Kate Brown's desk. Brown has previously shown support for net neutrality and is likely to sign the bill.

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