How progressive federalism can help preserve net neutrality

[Commentary] While the repeal of network neutrality threatens democracy, by putting free expression at the discretion of a few large companies that can slow down or block what you see or read, the Federal Communications Commission order added a little-noticed but much more direct attack on our ability to make democratic choices about internet access: The agency invoked its power to preempt state laws to block states from setting their own rules about net neutrality. Legislators and governors in several large states are exploring whether there are ways to get around that preemption, and experimenting with their own approaches to net neutrality, but the FCC’s preemption sharply constrains their options. That’s a grave mistake, because internet policy should be a welcome opportunity to use one of our country’s most valuable traditions, federalism, to identify policies and approaches that work, as well as those that fail to achieve their goals.

[Lenny T. Mendonca is the senior partner emeritus at McKinsey & Co. and chairman of the board for New America. Anne-Marie Slaughter is the president and CEO of New America.]


How progressive federalism can help preserve net neutrality