Lawmaker urges Pa. governor to sign executive order on net neutrality

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A state lawmaker is urging Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to sign an executive order to protect net neutrality in Pennsylvania.

The Federal Communications Commission voted to roll back the Obama-era regulation in December.

Supporters say it will increase competition and promote choice for consumers. Others worry internet service providers could slow down or even block access to certain websites and demand higher costs for consumers.

State Sen. Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia) sent a letter to Wolf, asking the governor to sign an executive order that would prohibit state agencies from awarding contracts, grants or tax credits to internet service providers who don’t comply with net neutrality standards.

“Keeping the internet free, keeping the internet accessible to everyday citizens, without the obligation to pay more for the content that you want, I think is critically important for consumer protection and for the continued advancement of education and people’s constitutional rights,” Farnese said. “To begin to limit that or to begin to sort of constrain consumers’ access to that, I think, is a step in the wrong direction.”

Farnese has also introduced Senate Bill 1033 to prohibit internet service providers from limiting access and content.

Wolf has spoken out in favor of net neutrality. His spokesman said the governor is looking at all options.