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DeBenedittis Calls For New Mexico Governor And Legislators To Lead On Net Neutrality

on December 21, 2017 - 8:40am

Peter DeBenedittis

From the Office of gubernatorial candidate Peter DeBenedittis:

Stating that “The new Federal Communications Commission appointees have shown their true colors and sold out Internet users, small businesses, and free speech by eliminating net neutrality,” Progressive Democratic candidate for governor, Dr. Peter DeBenedittis, is calling on Gov. Susana Martinez and the New Mexico State Legislators to take the lead where regulators in DC have failed.

The new rules passed by the FCC allow internet service providers to block or charge more for any content they choose.

“Is it any wonder we’re at the bottom in jobs and business climate when we just sit back and watch as more and more protections and services are ripped away?” DeBenedittis asks.

DeBenedittis sent an email to Martinez and the New Mexico State Legislators asking them to follow the lead of Washington state and proactively restore net neutrality. States like Washington, California and New York all have legislators introducing bills for state laws restoring net neutrality.

In his email, DeBenedittis said: “New Mexico is continually last in just about everything. We didn’t just one day wake up and find our state at the bottom of most bad rankings. We got here because lawmakers have continually acted as agents for their corporate donors and blocked measure after measure that would have helped everyday New Mexicans. Instead of protecting profits for large internet service providers as our small businesses and free speech rights suffer, I’m urging you to take the lead in putting people first. It’s critical to protect and restore net neutrality now, before New Mexico’s businesses and freedoms are put at even more of a disadvantage than they currently are… Please don’t make New Mexicans wait until I’m elected governor to have their right to net neutrality restored. I’m urging you to pass these measures during the 2018 Legislative session.”

are the steps proposed by Washington’s governor, Jay Inslee. DeBenedittis offered them to the New Mexico law makers as a guide for what our state can do:

Hold companies to their commitments not to block websites, throttle speeds, or impose prioritization pricing

  • Direct the state’s Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC—the equivalent to our PRC) to establish a process for ISPs to certify that they will not engage in practices inconsistent with net neutrality principles.
  • Limit state-conferred benefits to ISPs that have made such certifications.
  • Limit applicability of UTC pole attachment rules to ISPs that are net neutral.
  • Review other state-conferred benefits such as easements and taxes.

Leverage the state’s power as a large purchaser of ISP and telecommunications services

  • Use the state government’s role as a big customer, and our ability to establish state master contracts used by local governments, to incentivize Washington companies to adhere to net neutrality principles.
  • Pursue regulatory and legislative action to award contracts to vendors that meet net neutral business requirements.
  • Lead the exploration of a multi-state purchasing cooperative to procure internet service from providers that adhere to net neutrality principles.

Hold companies accountable for warranties made to consumers

  • Create a state-wide internet speed test. This will allow Washingtonians to test their own broadband speed at home, and submit the test to help appropriate state agencies determine what internet speeds consumers are receiving and where companies may be blocking or throttling.
  • Collaborate with legislators to strengthen our consumer protection laws to include the principles of net neutrality.

Encourage new entrants into the currently concentrated ISP market

  • Pursue legislation authorizing public utility districts and rural and urban port districts to provide retail ISP and telecommunications services.
  • Prohibit government-owned ISP services, such as municipal broadband networks, from engaging in blocking, throttling, or priority pricing for Internet Services.