The Lede, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018
By David Royse
WASHINGTON STATE VOTE ON NET NEUTRALITY
Washington state’s legislature became the first in the country to vote to reinstate “net neutrality” requirements yesterday, telling internet providers that they must abide by certain internet access rules, despite the repeal last year of similar rules at the federal level.
The measure requires internet service providers to treat all legal information that goes through their networks the same. That means they can’t provide some content faster or slower than other content, and can’t block legal websites. That used to be the rule nationally, but the Federal Communications Commission repealed the requirement in December.
Since then, about 20 states have considered measures to hold ISPs to the old standards, and at least five state governors have signed executive orders saying if ISPs want to do business in their state, they have to abide by net neutrality rules.
Washington’s is the first state law to pass, however, It now goes to the state’s governor, Jay Inslee, who supports it and is expected to sign it.
You can probably expect a lawsuit challenging the state’s law once it is enacted.
A follow-up note from the story from yesterday on driverless cars getting the OK in California. Something I failed to note yesterday is that 50 car companies have gotten licenses to test autonomous cars there. 50! That is a remarkable number.
Here’s the list of companies testing the cars, from the California DMV. Many of the names you’d recognize – Volkswagen, Mercedes, Nissan, Tesla, Ford. Many you wouldn’t – Zoox, Farraday and Future, NIO, Udacity, Jingchi.
MORE VISIBLE HAND?
AXIOS: The public wants Big Tech regulated: Axios conducted a poll and found most Americans want more regulation of the Big Tech companies. From the story, by Kim Hart:
“That’s a seismic shift in the public’s perception of Silicon Valley over a short period of time. It shows how worried Americans are about Russian meddling in the 2016 election, but it also reflects a growing anxiety about the potentially addictive nature of some of the tech companies’ products, as well as the relentless spread of fake news on their platforms.”
T-Mobile, Sprint Announce First 5G Cities
The third and fourth largest mobile networks, T-Mobile and Sprint, announced their roll-out plans for 5G. T-Mobile says it wants to have 5G in 30 cities this year, and named New York, LA, Dallas and Las Vegas as the first four. Sprint said its first six cities will be Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, LA, and D.C. More from GeekWire
If you haven’t been reading my stories about 5G (come on, who hasn’t been?) but just in case: it’s the next generation of internet speed, expected to be more than 10x faster than current internet. The speeds are needed mostly for Internet of Things and autonomous driving technologies to work. But they’ll also make your movie downloads faster. You can read past stories on what other cities will be in the early 5G mix, from earlier announcements by Nos. 1 and 2, AT&T and Verizon.
NOTES FROM THE AGE OF DISRUPTION:
Is buying Ring, a former Shark Tank reject, which might ease consumers fears about letting strangers in their house to leave packages. Fortune
The Paypal competitor announced strong fourth quarter results, beating Street. TheStreet.com
SEND IN THE CLONES
What is likely the weirdest biotech story of the day:
Not content with The Way We Were, Barbra Streisand reveals that her two current dogs are clones of her previous dog, the late Samantha. The Guardian
I really hate to do this to you, but it’s how the news business works – stuff is supposed to be topical. So I give you (thank me later) a touching tribute to the original Samantha.