State Sen. Anthony Delcollo (R-Marshallton) is sponsoring a resolution that calls on Congress to oppose the Trump administration’s repeal of net neutrality regulations. He also hopes Congress will create a solution to protect internet consumers in Delaware.
Net neutrality regulations put into place by former President Barack Obama banned internet providers from speeding up or slowing down online content. They also prevented companies from blocking content or giving people who pay more preferential services.
Delcollo said while state resolutions are not binding, it does show Delaware’s opposition to last year’s repeal of those protections. He said the federal government’s position is states can’t pass their own rules on internet access.
“There was a clear line in the sand drawn that they would view the federal government as occupying the field, which is basically the government’s preempting us from officially regulating something that would be in the streams of commerce," he said. "And they’re saying they have the authority from the Commerce Clause to regulate this in its entirely.” But he’s also reviewing whether the state can legally enact its own law regulating internet access.
“So, the reason that I’ve delayed in doing that is because there’s analysis that needs to be done over the question of federalism and whether we would be getting into a lawsuit between Delaware and the federal government and potentially other states on our side over whether or not it’s acceptable to regulate in this area locally,” he said.
Delaware is one of more than 20 states suing the federal government over its decision to gut internet protections.
States like California and Massachusetts are considering passing their own net neutrality laws.
Governors in other states, like New Jersey, Montana and New York, have issued executive orders that require services to only be purchased from companies that support net neutrality rules.