Senate Bill 5470


Section 1

This section adds a new section to an existing chapter 19.385. Here is the modified chapter for context.

The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

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    1. "Broadband internet access service" means a mass-market retail service by wire or radio that provides the capability to transmit data to and receive data from all or substantially all internet endpoints, including any capabilities that are incidental to and enable the operation of the communications service, but excluding dial-up internet access service.

    2. "Broadband internet access service" also encompasses any service that the federal communications commission finds to be providing a functional equivalent of the service described in (a) of this subsection, or that is used to evade the protections set forth in RCW 19.385.020.

  2. "Data cap" means a limitation on the amount of data that an end user is allowed to use, or the imposition of a charge on the end user for exceeding a certain data usage threshold.

  3. "End user" means any individual or entity that uses a broadband internet access service.

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    1. "Paid prioritization" means the management of a broadband provider's network to directly or indirectly favor some traffic over other traffic, including through the use of techniques such as traffic shaping, prioritization, resource reservation, or other forms of preferential traffic management, either:

      1. In exchange for consideration, monetary or otherwise, from a third party; or

      2. To benefit an affiliated entity.

    2. "Paid prioritization" does not include the provision of tiered internet access service or offerings to a retail end user.

  5. "Reasonable network management" means a practice that has a primarily technical network management justification, but does not include other business practices. A network management practice is reasonable if it is primarily used for and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband internet access service.

  6. "Tiered internet access service" means offering end users a choice between different packages of service with clearly advertised speeds, prices, terms, and conditions; for example, a 10 megabit service for one price and a 50 megabit service for a different price.

Section 2

This section modifies existing section 19.385.020. Here is the modified chapter for context.

  1. Any person providing broadband internet access service in Washington state shall publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of its broadband internet access services sufficient to enable consumers to make informed choices regarding the purchase and use of such services and entrepreneurs and other small businesses to develop, market, and maintain internet offerings. The disclosure must be made via a publicly available, easily accessible website.

  2. A person engaged in the provision of broadband internet access service in Washington state, insofar as the person is so engaged, may not:

    1. Block lawful content, applications, services, or nonharmful devices, subject to reasonable network management;

    2. Impair or degrade lawful internet traffic on the basis of internet content, application, or service, or use of a nonharmful device, subject to reasonable network management;

    3. Engage in paid prioritization**; or**

    4. Apply a data cap during a state of emergency issued pursuant to RCW 43.06.210.

  3. Nothing in this chapter:

    1. Supersedes any obligation or authorization a provider of broadband internet access service may have to address the needs of emergency communications or law enforcement, public safety, or national security authorities, consistent with or as permitted by applicable law, or limits the provider's ability to do so; or

    2. Prohibits reasonable efforts by a provider of broadband internet access service to address copyright infringement or other unlawful activity.

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