St. Paul – Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL-Minneapolis) and Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park) have introduced bills (HF3033/SF2880) to protect consumers in response to the 2017 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reversal of net neutrality late last year. Net neutrality requires that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.
Rep. Thissen and Sen. Latz’s proposal requires companies doing business in the state or selling services as a vendor of the state of Minnesota to comply with common sense net neutrality principles.
“Every day we inch closer to restricting consumers from having free and fair access to the internet,” said Rep. Thissen. “The FCC has ruled in favor of special interests in the telecommunications industry, but that does not mean Minnesota will concede without a fight. The internet is a tool for all Minnesotans and not just for a few large corporations. Our bill ensures that every company operating in the state is offering equal access to all Minnesotans.”
The bill will also boost and enforce general consumer protection laws to fight back against fraud, discrimination and anti-competitive behavior by the dominant internet and telecommunications companies.
“This bill is a step in the right direction to make sure all Minnesotans have access to a free and open internet,” said Sen. Latz. “Allowing corporations to decide what we can access online sets a dangerous precedent and is contrary to the values we hold as Minnesotans.”
The House bill was introduced last week, the Senate bill will be introduced today.