TRENTON, NJ - Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon), chair of the Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Committee, is staunchly advocating for the passage of three bills in the New Jersey Legislature that would help restore “net neutrality.” Zwicker issued the following statement today:
“Imagine being a ‘Game of Thrones’ fan and having to pay extra to watch the series finale on Sunday simply because your internet service provider (ISP) wanted to make extra profit off of what will be one of the most-watched television shows in history. If we don’t take steps to preserve the principle of ‘net neutrality,’ this type of scenario will likely be part of our future.
“Under net neutrality, when you pay your ISP a monthly fee for accessing the internet, whether it is to check email, watch a movie, post a photo with friends on social media, or research a topic, you are in control, not the ISP.
“However, under the Trump administration, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) changed the rules and allowed ISPs to engage in content-based discrimination, specifically, speeding up, slowing down, or blocking access to lawful online content based on the ISPs' political view or business interests.
“This is simply unacceptable.
“Last year, the NJ General Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Committee, of which I am chair, held hearings on three different net neutrality bills sponsored by my colleague, Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson). (A-2131, A-2132, A-2139)
“During these hearings, many New Jersey state legislators, from both parties, supported the need for us to do what the FCC and Congress will not do: protect consumers from a slower internet while ensuring that small businesses, content creators and community-based organizations are not discriminated against.
“The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill in March, the ‘Save the Internet Act,’ that restored net neutrality rules and received bipartisan support. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared the bill ‘dead on arrival’ and it stands no chance of passing the Senate and becoming law.
“The NJ legislature can do what Congress cannot and protect our right to a free and open internet. I hope, in the very near future, to pass our package of bills in both the Assembly and Senate and send them to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
“Don’t let your internet service provider force you to bend the knee.”