Net neutrality in place for New York after Cuomo signs executive order

Gov. Cuomo tagged into the fight with an executive order that preserves open internet protections for the state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo tagged into the fight for net neutrality Wednesday with an executive order that preserves open internet protections for New Yorkers.

The order prohibits internet service providers, or ISPs, from entering into contracts with the state government unless they agree to policies that mirror the FCC’s former net neutrality rules, including a ban on internet speed throttling and the arbitrary blocking of sites.

The FCC voted in December to nullify the nationwide protections, despite a huge outcry from Americans and a state investigation into fraudulent commenting. Cuomo called it a “dangerous ruling,” that “goes against the core values of our democracy.”

“New York will do everything in our power to protect net neutrality and the free exchange of ideas,” Cuomo said in a statement.

The FCC declined to comment on the governor’s executive order. The agency’s chair and former Verizon attorney Ajit Pai contends net neutrality held the ISPs back from tech innovations.

Proponents of the protections, however, say those rules kept the internet open for all users.

On Monday, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock issued a similar executive order that prohibited the state from entering contracts with ISPs that didn’t adhere to the net neutrality policies.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is leading a coalition of 22 state prosecutors in a lawsuit against the FCC over the repeal, claiming it was “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion.” Schneiderman is also looking into thousands of phony comments that supported the net neutrality repeal that were sent to the FCC.

Ivan Pereira