Bill Summary for S 736 (2017-2018)

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Summary date: 

May 23 2018

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2017-2018 Session
Senate Bill 736 (Public) Filed Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Intro. by Chaudhuri, Woodard.

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Bill summary

Includes whereas clauses.

Section 1

Titles this act the Preserve Net Neutrality in North Carolina Act

Section 2

Amends GS Chapter 75, adding new Article 2B, GS 75-70. Includes General Assembly findings and intent. Directs the Department of Justice (DOJ) to establish a process to certify that each Internet service provider (ISP) with customers in North Carolina will not engage in practices inconsistent with net neutrality principles, defined here as blocking, throttling, or implementing paid prioritization of certain internet traffic over other internet traffic in exchange for consideration from a third party or to benefit an entity affiliated with the ISP. An ISP's violation of this subsection is an unfair trade practice under GS 75-1.1. 

Requires any ISP providing Internet access in North Carolina to publicly disclose, on an easily accessible website, accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet services sufficient to enable customers to make informed choices regarding the purchase and use of the services, and to enable small businesses to develop, market, and maintain Internet offerings. Directs the DOJ to adopt rules and policies regarding these public disclosures in consultation with the Department of Information Technology (DIT), and thereafter to monitor compliance with these provisions. An ISP's violation of this subsection is an unfair trade practice under GS 75-1.1. 

The DOJ may allow practices inconsistent with net neutrality principles on a limited basis for significant benefit to the public's interest. 

Nothing in this statute will be construed to supersede or limit any obligation or authorization a provider may have to address the needs of law enforcement, public safety, national security authorities, or emergency communications, consistent with applicable law. Nothing in this section will be construed to prohibit reasonable efforts by an ISP to address copyright infringement or other unlawful activity. 

Section 3

Appropriates $20 million from the General Fund to the DIT for the 2018-19 fiscal year to establish broadband deployment grants to secure broadband Internet service in areas without service or service below the minimum threshold recognized by the DIT. Of these funds, $17.5 million is to be allocated to increase access and improve service to underserved households, businesses, and community anchor institutions to encourage private investment by lowering capital expenditures for new and existing service providers. The remaining $2.5 million is to be allocated for mobile hotspots and other devices for students without home broadband access to help close the State's Homework Gap. The DIT is further directed to explore potential partnerships and additional sources of funding to advance these statewide broadband initiatives. 

Section 4

Sections 3 and 4 are effective July 1, 2018. Sections 1 and 2 are effective January 1, 2019.