NJ will only ink contracts with firms that observe net neutrality

Posted: Updated:
NEWARK -

New Jersey will only agree to new contracts with internet providers who observe net neutrality under an executive order issued by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy.

Murphy signed the order Monday in Newark. The Democratic governors of New York and Montana have taken similar executive action.

Net neutrality states that internet service providers should not charge at different rates based on which websites people are accessing. But the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal those rules in December.

Republican members of the FCC argued that repealing the rules would allow more growth for telecom companies.

Murphy’s order mandates that providers who work with the state uphold net neutrality rules. He says that he hopes that the order will make New Jersey more attractive to tech entrepreneurs.

Newark-based business owner Jessica Gonzalez says that the net neutrality rules will help her company have a chance against larger ones. She started InCharged, which provides cellphone charging stations, seven years ago.

“Having a free and open internet allows for people to find us, consumers to get more information about our product and help small businesses like us, who don’t have a lot of marketing budget, get creative and reach consumers,” she says.

Murphy's administration also announced the state attorney general would be joining 21 other state attorneys general and the District of Columbia who are suing to block the repeal of the federal policy.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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