Montana Net Neutrality Order Gets CAGW's Porker Award

Citizens Against Government Waste has given Montana Gov. Steve Bullock its February "Porker of the Month" award.

Bullock issued an executive order requiring any ISPs contracting with the state government in Montana to adhere to the network neutrality rules the FCC recently voted to roll back. Bullock was not alone. The governors of New York, Hawaii and New Jersey followed suit with similar orders.

CAGW has backed the rollback of the regs by the FCC's Republican majority.

"The [Montana] order is a colossal overreaction to the Dec. 14, 2017, adoption of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order (RIFO) by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)," said CAGW.

"CAGW president Tom Schatz added, “Gov. Bullock’s short-sighted executive order will harm economic growth and reduce internet service for Montanans, particularly those who live in rural communities, where there is the greatest need for expanded broadband access."

The FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom order preempts state and local attempts to legislate their own new net neutrality rules, but it is unclear how that applies to language in contracts. Likely a federal court will wind up making that call.

The CAGW award is described as "a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.