Governor Phil Scott Signs Executive Order Directing the State to Prioritize Net Neutral Providers in State Contracting
Governor Phil Scott today signed Executive Order No. 02-18, which directs the Agency of Administration to ensure that all state contracts with internet providers include net neutrality protections.
“I believe an open internet is essential to the flow of information, goods and services that will grow Vermont’s economy,” said Scott. “Our students depend heavily on the internet to access academic material, Vermonters use the internet to acquire information and receive critical services through our agencies and departments, and the internet is relied upon to share information, sell products and offer services.”
The executive order will apply to all state agencies, departments, commissions, boards or other administrative units within the executive branch that have the authority to enter into contracts. It is issued under the Governor’s Constitutional authority to conduct business for the state and implements the policy direction expressed in Senate bill S. 289, which recently passed out of the State Senate.
Changes to the contracting and procurement procedures will stipulate that internet service providers to the State of Vermont shall not:
- Block lawful content, applications, services, or nonharmful devices;
- Throttle, impair or degrade lawful internet traffic on the basis of internet content, application, or service, or use of a nonharmful device;
- Engage in paid prioritization or providing preferential treatment of some internet traffic to any Internet customer; or
- Unreasonably interfere with a customer’s ability to select, access and use broadband internet access service or the lawful Internet content, applications, services, or devices of their choice; or with a providers’ ability to make lawful content, applications, services, or devices available to a customer.
“I did not support the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to repeal net neutrality, but we can take steps here in Vermont to uphold these values, while ensuring compliance with Federal law,” said Scott. “While the Legislature is working on additional action to protect net neutrality here in Vermont, we thought it was important to act quickly with an executive order that ensures Vermont’s position and commitment to protecting the State’s access to the internet is clear.”
Governors Cuomo of New York, Bullock of Montana and Murphy of New Jersey have also recently issued executive orders regarding contracting only with companies which agree to abide by net neutrality principles.
To read the full executive order, visit http://governor.vermont.gov/sites/scott/files/documents/EO%2002-18%20-%2....