Following their introduction of HB1755/SB1756, the Tennessee Net Neutrality and Internet Consumer Protection Act, state Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville) and state Sen. Lee Harris (D-Memphis) delivered a letter to Gov. Bill Haslam requesting that he issue an executive order ensuring net neutrality protections for Tennesseans. Governors in Montana, Vermont, New York, New Jersey and Hawaii have signed similar executive orders in recent weeks.
“The law affords our governor wide latitude to protect Tennessee consumers from throttling, blocking content, or creating ‘fast lanes’ via paid prioritization,” said Rep. John Ray Clemmons. “The entry of an executive order would send a clear signal to Internet service providers that Tennesseans expect, support and deserve the fundamental protections afforded by net neutrality.” Rep. Clemmons added, “If we truly believe in protecting consumers, ensuring equal access to information, fostering opportunity for innovation, and ensuring a level playing field for Tennesseans and our startup community, supporting and enforcing net neutrality is a no-brainer. A free and open Internet is crucial to growing our economy statewide, and it is essential to allow all Tennesseans to enjoy equal participation in the 21st century economy.”
“The Internet is almost a public utility at this point. Everyone deserves equal and open access,” said Sen. Harris “The recent ruling by the FCC hurts consumers, innovators, and our small businesses. An executive order and our legislation would ensure that Tennessee stays on the path of creative entrepreneurship.”