New Mexico lawmakers seek to protect net neutrality
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Two Democratic state lawmakers in New Mexico have proposed consumer protection legislation in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net-neutrality rules, urging the state’s Republican governor on Tuesday to allow a vote on the measure.
Gov. Susana Martinez has discretion over whether non-budgetary bills can be heard during a 30-day legislative session and has not responded.
The FCC last month repealed Obama-era rules and gave internet services providers a free hand to slow or block websites and apps as they see fit or charge more for faster speeds.
Sen. Howie Morales of Silver City and Rep. Bill McCamley of Mesilla Park said Tuesday that their bill would prohibit paid prioritization of internet traffic as an unfair and deceptive trade practice under the state’s Unfair Practices Act, and provide funding to state prosecutors for enforcement. They say the legislation would protect small businesses, schools and families from price gouging and unequal internet access.
Several states have introduced bills to protect net neutrality, while the FCC’s order bars state laws from contradicting the federal government’s approach.
Attorneys general from 21 states including New Mexico have sued to block the federal changes to Obama-era rules that barred companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from interfering with internet traffic and favoring their own sites and apps.