Preserving a Free and Open Internet

June 12, 2018

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) repeal of net neutrality officially went into effect. Now it's up to the states to protect a free and open internet for everyone. I have already signed an executive order that protects net neutrality by requiring recipients of state contracts to adhere to internet neutrality principles all across Montana. And, all it took was a pen.

For as long as we've used the internet, we've had certain expectations about how things work. We've had access to a free and open internet. But a free and open internet is no longer guaranteed. The repeal of internet neutrality principles threatens the future of students, businesses, and economic growth in Montana.

My executive order sets the terms on which the State of Montana will make purchases and makes a preference for a free and open internet clear. In the FCC's repeal of net neutrality, they said consumers should choose. The State of Montana is one of the biggest consumers of internet services in Montana. We have made our choice clear: we want net neutrality. Already, the states of Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington have followed Montana's lead to uphold net neutrality through executive order or legislation.

After yesterday's decision, we know folks in Washington D.C. aren't coming to their senses and reinstating net neutrality anytime soon. It's time for every state to help preserve and protect net neutrality for their citizens.