Rooney to introduce net neutrality bills

TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney will introduce two bills ensuring consumers have equal access to the internet. The bills require internet providers to commit to providing at least broadband service to its entire service area before allowing paid prioritization of content, and require cable companies to automatically provide its fastest internet available to municipalities for free.

“Internet access is a basic need and the freedom to have all content equally available is vital for consumers,” said Rooney (R-Bergen). “The public should not be held captive to partitioned internet access and faster content. The internet has become a public utility and access should remain unfettered.”

Rooney vehemently opposed the Federal Communications Commission’s December reversal of regulations implemented two years ago ensuring internet providers treat all content equally. The commission’s ruling prohibits state and local governments from creating their own net neutrality laws and regulations.

“Unfortunately, states have been precluded from developing net neutrality rules. That doesn’t mean consumers have to settle for a worse product, and that doesn’t mean the state has to settle for more cumbersome government as a result,” said Rooney.

Fifteen states have introduced net neutrality legislation while 22 states have sued to re-enact net neutrality.