FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Q: What is net neutrality?
A:
Net neutrality is the principle that your “ISP,” or internet service provider (whether that’s Comcast, AT&T, Qwest, or some other company) must provide you access to the entire internet, without blocking or charging more based on the services you use or websites you visit.

Q: What does the measure say?
A:  Read it here!

Q: Does this mean my internet access will be free?
A:
ISPs will still be able to charge you fees for their services. But those fees will be the same no matter which websites you visit. For example, whether you choose to search the web with Google, Yahoo, or Bing, your bill won’t change on that basis.

Q: What changes will I see if this measure passes?
A:
Hopefully, none! These rules were in place nationally for years. But in December 2017 the Federal Communications Commission decided to eliminate these rules. The regulations in place before December 2017 would be restored in Oregon with this initiative.

Q: My ISP says they won’t charge different rates for services anyway. Why do we need this measure?
A:
Your ISP might not, but others may not be so lucky. Even if your ISP isn’t interested in charging you different rates, elimination of net neutrality means your ISP will be able to charge others to slow down or block certain websites.

Q: Will this mean that my ISP has to show any kind of website in my household, even those with objectionable content?
A:
Websites with unlawful or harmful content are blocked just as they are today. The measure doesn’t prevent you from enacting parental controls on your own devices.

Q: Can my ISP comply with these rules?
A:
If they were in business before December 2017, they have been complying with net neutrality rules already. This measure merely continues net neutrality rules at the state level.

Q: I heard that individual states can’t pass internet service regulations. Is this constitutional?
A: The Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 already allows states to enact regulations on internet service to “ensure the continued quality of telecommunications services,” and to “safeguard the rights of consumers.”  In fact, Oregon already has a large chapter of state law regulating internet service providers, in Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 759.

Q: What if this needs to be changed to allow for technologies and applications we haven’t thought about?
A: This measure is statutory, meaning the State Legislature would be able to update it as necessary.

Q: What if a service provider has a technical reason they need to limit content?
A: This measure allows ISPs to engage in “reasonable network management” activities, so long as it is an action taken for a specific technical need.