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Mayor Mark Farrell and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio Commit to Cities Open Internet and Net Neutrality Pledge


Today, Mayor Mark Farrell endorsed New York Mayor De Blasio’s “Cities Open Internet Pledge” that commits San Francisco to ensure that the internet remains open and prevents gatekeepers from throttling, blocking or limiting government content on the internet.


“It is up to cities across our country to fight for a fair and open internet in the face of corporate-driven decisions out of Washington D.C. that are taking the internet backwards,” said Mayor Farrell. “Net Neutrality is a non-partisan issue that is universally supported across the country because communities know it’s a vital protection for the internet.”


"Corporate greed is the only reason net neutrality is gone,” said Mayor de Blasio. “To help even the playing field, New York City is going to hit companies in the only place they seem to feel it: their bottom line. When the federal government fails to protect consumers, cities must band together to take action. New York City is leading the charge by establishing the Cities Open Internet Pledge.”


Mayor De Blasio announced at the South by Southwest Conference the following cities have all signed on to the pledge:


·         Austin, Texas

·         San Antonio, Texas

·         Portland, Oregon

·         San Jose, California

·         Madison, Wisconsin

·         Putnam, Connecticut


More cities from across the country are expected to endorse the pledge soon.


Each city has committed, to the extent permitted by law, to:

·         Procure applicable internet services from companies that do not block, throttle or provide paid prioritization of content on sites that cities run to provide critical services and information to their residents.

·         Ensure an open internet connection with any free or subsidized service we offer to our residents.

·         Not block, throttle or engage in paid prioritization when providing internet service directly to our residents, such as through free public Wi-Fi or municipal broadband.

·         To the extent permitted, require clear and accessible notices of filtering, blocking and prioritization policies with enforceable penalties for violations to protect consumers from deceptive practices.

·         Monitor the practices of internet service providers (ISPs) so consumers and regulators can know when a company is violating open internet principles or commitments.

·         Encourage consumer use of ISPs, including municipal options that abide by open internet policies.

This pledge follows a recent report released by Mayor Farrell’s Municipal Fiber Blue Ribbon Panel that recommends net neutrality and stringent privacy and security protections on San Francisco’s soon to be delivered citywide fiber network.