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NRRI Develops Online Net Neutrality State Action Tracker
WASHINGTON—A new tool to track individual state’s responses to the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality order has been developed by the National Regulatory Research Institute, the research arm of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.
The FCC Restoring Internet Freedom Order was released in December 2017 and published in the Federal Register on February 22, 2018. The order redefines Broadband Internet Access Service as an information service, regulated under Title I of the Telecommunications Act, rescinding the Commission’s 2016 decision to oversee Internet service providers under Title II of the Act. Subsequent to the order, much discussion ensued among stakeholder communities, along with legislation introduced in some areas. The new tracker allows NARUC members and others to have a single place to follow this discussion.
The online tracker, developed by in-house personnel, requires locating and reading the provisions covered by each state’s bill. “We look at those bills every day to identify any updates. The primary audience will be state legislators and public utility commission staff and commissioners who want to understand where we are in this debate,” said NRRI Principal for Telecommunications Research and Policy Sherry Lichtenberg, PhD. The tracker also lists which of these bills has a requirement for commission input, she added.
“Our net neutrality tracker will be an important tool for our members because it provides useful, real-time information,” said NARUC President John Betkoski III. “This is an issue that won’t go away soon, so it’s imperative that we have a centralized repository that’s easy to navigate.”
Go to http://bit.ly/netneutralitytracker to use the tracker, which lists states with pending and enacted legislation, followed by a color-coded map indicating states that have filed suits.
NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.