36 U.S. States (Representing 69.4% of the Country's Population) Are Fighting the Net Neutrality Repeal

A total 36 U.S. States are now actively challenging the FCC’s repeal net neutrality provisions, either through proposed legislation, litigation, executive order, or an outright law. In total, the defiant group represents nearly 70% the nation’s population.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai is aggressively moving forward with a net neutrality rollback.  But that repeal is now generating an unprecedented level pushback, one that sets the stage for a protracted fight ahead.

Leading the charge is Washington State, which passed the nation’s first net neutrality law earlier this month.  That is likely to be followed by Oregon, whose governor, Kate Brown, is expected to sign a bill approved by both state chambers.

But that’s just the tip the iceberg.  As this week, there are now 34 other states in various stages rebellion.

Just last week, members the California Senate introduced the toughest net neutrality legislation to date.  The bill, crafted with the help policy experts at Stanford University, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and others, asserts that the FCC holds no authority to dictate net neutrality policy to states.

+ Verizon, AT&T & Comcast Ask Congress to Make the Net Neutrality Repeal Stronger

Also leading charge are states like Montana, Hawaii, New York, Vermont, and New Jersey, whose governors have issued executive orders explicitly prohibiting ISPs from enacting neutrality-unfriendly practices like paid prioritization.  Those orders pertain to ISPs with state contracts, not consumer accounts, though they greatly complicate the compliance requirements for ISPs wanting to do business in those states.

Across the map major ISPs like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and Cox Communications are now staring at a nightmarish patchwork compliance related to net neutrality.  Accordingly, they are asking Congress to make it illegal for U.S. states to create their own net neutrality laws.

The map above summarizes the various forms resistance from the 36 different U.S. States.  

In terms the form pushback:

  • Black = state law passed protecting net neutrality;
  • Orange = Executive Order signed by state governor to protect net neutrality;
  • Dark Gray = net neutrality bill successfully passed both state legislative chambers;
  • Blue = net neutrality bill introduced into legislature;
  • Brown = state attorney general filing suit against the FCC;
  • Green = 100+ municipalities have approved taxpayer-funded ISPs.
  • Light Gray = no state action.

The diagram also includes a growing group defiant mayors, signified by a red star.  Mayors from those cities are members Mayors for Net Neutrality Coalition.

Also worth noting is that the attorney general the District Columbia is also suing the FCC, one nearly two-dozen challenges from attorneys general nationwide.

Here’s a breakdown every U.S. State’s population and level net neutrality resistance.

(Populations based on the ficial U.S. Census 2016; the District Columbia is not counted as a state but is counted in terms overall population percentages.)

Alaska
Population: 0.742 million
Forms Resistance: Net neutrality Legislation Introduced

California
Population: 39.25 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Connecticut
Population: 3.58 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Colorado
Population: 5.54 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; 100+ Municipalities Have Approved Taxpayer-funded ISPs

Delaware
Population: 0.952 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

District Columbia
Population: 0.681 million
Forms Resistance: Attorney General Lawsuit
(D.C. is not counted as a state, but is counted in terms total population for this report)

Georgia
Population: 10.31 million
Forms for Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

Hawaii
Population: 1.43 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit; Governor-Issued Executive Order

Idaho
Population: 1.68 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

Illinois
Population: 12.8 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Iowa
Population: 3.13 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Kansas
Population: 2.91 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

Kentucky
Population: 4.44 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Maine
Population: 1.33 million
Forms Resistance: Attorney General Lawsuit

Maryland
Population: 6.02 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Massachusetts
Population: 6.81 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Michigan
Population: 9.93 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

Minnesota
Population: 5.52 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Mississippi
Population: 2.99 million
Forms Resistance: Attorney General Lawsuit

Missouri
Population: 6.09 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

Montana
Population: 1.04 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit; Governor-Issued Executive Order

Nebraska
Population: 1.91 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

New Jersey
Population: 8.94 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Governor-Issued Executive Order

New Mexico
Population: 2.08 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

New York
Population: 19.75 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit; Governor-Issued Executive Order.

North Carolina
Population: 10.15 million
Forms Resistance: Attorney General Lawsuit

Oregon
Population: 4.09 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation (Passed Both State Chambers); Attorney General Lawsuit.

Pennsylvania
Population: 12.78 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Rhode Island
Population: 1.056 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

South Carolina
Population: 4.96 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

South Dakota
Population: 0.865 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

Tennessee
Population: 6.65 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

Vermont
Population: 0.625 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit; Governor-Issued Executive Order

Virginia
Population: 8.41 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced; Attorney General Lawsuit

Washington
Population: 7.29 million
Forms for Resistance: Net Neutrality Law Passed; Attorney General Lawsuit

West Virginia
Population: 1.83 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

Wisconsin
Population: 5.78 million
Forms Resistance: Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced

Total Population Resisting States (including District Columbia): 224.34 million
Total Population U.S. (including District Columbia): 323.15 million

Total % Resisting States (in terms total U.S. population): 69.4%

Also, mayors from the following 11 cities are also actively protesting the FCC’s rollback net neutrality.  They are part the newly-formed Mayors for Net Neutrality Coalition, a group expected to add new members this week.  

  • Bill de Blasio, New York
  • Steve Adler, Austin, Texas
  • Ted Wheeler, Portland, Oregon
  • Ron Nirenberg, San Antonio, Texas
  • Sly James, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Mark Farrell, San Francisco, California
  • Catherine Pugh, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Barney Seney, Putnam, Connecticut
  • Paul Soglin, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Sam Liccardo, San Jose, California
  • Jacob Frey, Minneapolis, Minnesota

All these mayors are from cities within states that are fighting against the net neutrality rollback, with the exception the mayors Austin and San Antonio. 

Also part the mayors’ coalition is Zach Friend, Second District Supervisor for Santa Cruz County, California.  

 

Special thanks to Fight for the Future, an organization that is painstakingly tracking the various state bills and other forms pushback.  You can see their detailed breakdowns, including links to actual bills, here.