A 2131 A 2132 A 2139

Net neutrality bills

NJEA supports net neutrality.  Net neutrality is important for students, schools, and educators, as it allows for equal access to information on the internet.   Access to broadband internet has become an essential component of student learning from elementary school to college.

We must ensure that net neutrality continues in NJ.  Without it, students, educators, and schools could find their learning resources cut, as internet service providers (ISPs) give preferential treatment to some websites over others, block websites, or create “fast lanes” and “slow lanes” based on payment.

  • Non-profit sites or small companies that provide high-quality educational resources could be forced out of business due high costs charged by ISPs to deliver their content
  • A student doing research on the internet at home could find it difficult to access the resources of the school library or PBS because they are in a slow lane or even blocked, leaving her with only the provider’s “learning center.”   Educators could find themselves without access to sites that provide lesson plans, forums, and information.
  • ISPs could create different tiers of access for websites, denying students and educators access to materials if they cannot afford the cost.  ISPs could also restrict access to school websites, making it harder for educators and students to access their own schools’ websites.
  • A testing company could make deals with ISPs so that its computer-based test is delivered at the highest speed, while its competition is slowed down.  Districts would find themselves with only one choice.  The same could be true for school management systems.
  • Students, educators, and schools might only have one or two ISPs in their area and have no recourse if the providers block access to some sites for commercial gain.

For these reasons, NJEA supports A-2131 (Chiaravalloti, Zwicker), which directs the BPU to prohibit Internet service providers from installing broadband telecommunications infrastructure on certain poles or underground facilities unless Internet service providers adhere to the principle of “net neutrality,” A-2132 (Chiaravalloti, Zwicker, Murphy), which prohibits the awarding of public contracts to Internet service providers, unless the Internet service providers adhere to the principle of “net neutrality,” and A-2139 (Chiaravalloti, Zwicker), which requires cable television companies to commit to the principle of “net neutrality” as a condition of approval of applications for municipal consent or a system-wide franchise.  NJEA asks you to support these bills.  Together, these bills will help ensure that in New Jersey, ISPs adhere to standards of net neutrality.

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