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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 3 : Executive

Chapter 014 : Standards for Contracts Including Privatization Contracts

(Cite as: 3 V.S.A. § 348)
  • § 348. Internet service providers; net neutrality compliance

    (a) The Secretary of Administration shall develop a process by which an Internet service provider may certify that it is in compliance with the consumer protection and net neutrality standards established in subsection (b) of this section.

    (b) A certificate of net neutrality compliance shall be granted to an Internet service provider that demonstrates and the Secretary finds that the Internet service provider, insofar as the provider is engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service:

    (1) Does not engage in any of the following practices in Vermont:

    (A) Blocking lawful content, applications, services, or nonharmful devices, subject to reasonable network management.

    (B) Impairing or degrading lawful Internet traffic on the basis of Internet content, application, or service or the use of a nonharmful device, subject to reasonable network management.

    (C) Engaging in paid prioritization, unless this prohibition is waived pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

    (D) Unreasonably interfering with or unreasonably disadvantaging either a customer’s ability to select, access, and use broadband Internet access service or lawful Internet content, applications, services, or devices of the customer’s choice or an edge provider’s ability to make lawful content, applications, services, or devices available to a customer. Reasonable network management shall not be considered a violation of this prohibition.

    (E) Engaging in deceptive or misleading marketing practices that misrepresent the treatment of Internet traffic or content to its customers.

    (2) Publicly discloses to consumers accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services sufficient for consumers to make informed choices regarding use of such services and for content, application, service, and device providers to develop, market, and maintain Internet offerings.

    (c) The Secretary may waive the ban on paid prioritization under subdivision (b)(1)(C) of this section only if the Internet service provider demonstrates and the Secretary finds that the practice would provide some significant public interest benefit and would not harm the open nature of the Internet in Vermont.

    (d) As used in this section:

    (1) “Broadband Internet access service” means a mass-market retail service by wire or radio in Vermont 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. The term also encompasses any service in Vermont that the Secretary finds to be providing a functional equivalent of the service described in this subdivision, or that is used to evade the protections established in this chapter.

    (2) “Edge provider” means any person in Vermont that provides any content, application, or service over the Internet and any person in Vermont that provides a device used for accessing any content, application, or service over the Internet.

    (3) “Internet service provider” or “provider” means a business that provides broadband Internet access service to any person in Vermont.

    (4) “Paid prioritization” means the management of an Internet service provider’s network to favor directly or indirectly 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 in exchange for consideration, monetary or otherwise, from a third party or to benefit an affiliated entity, or both.

    (5) “Reasonable network management” means a practice that has a primarily technical network management justification but does not include other business practices and that 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.

    (e) The terms and definitions of this section shall be interpreted broadly and any exceptions interpreted narrowly, using relevant Federal Communications Commission orders, advisory opinions, rulings, and regulations as persuasive guidance. (Added 2017, No. 169 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)