AN ACT RESTORING AN OPEN INTERNET IN NORTH CAROLINA AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR STATEWIDE BROADBAND ACCESS.
Includes whereas clauses.
Titles this act the Save the Internet Act.
Enacts Article 2B, GS Chapter 75. 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.
Appropriates $35 million from the General Fund to the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) program for the 2019-20 fiscal year to establish broadband deployment grants to secure broadband Internet service in areas without service or service below accepted minimum speeds. Of these funds, $30 million is to be allocated to encourage providers to bring broadband service to underserved areas, and the remaining $5 million is to be used for a grant program to help close the homework gap for students without home Internet access by providing mobile hotspots and devices. Effective July 1, 2019.
Provides the act is effective January 1, 2020, unless otherwise indicated.