SECTION 1. Section 6A of chapter 25C of the General Laws is hereby repealed.
SECTION 2. Chapter 25C of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 8 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 8: Division of broadband (a) For purposes of this section, the following words shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:-
“Broadband Internet Access Service” also known as “broadband”, means a mass-market retail service by wire or radio provided to customers in Massachusetts that provides the capability to transmit data to and receive data from all, or substantially all Internet endpoints, including but not limited to, any capabilities that are incidental to and enable the operation of the communications service, but excluding dial-up Internet access service. Broadband Internet Access Service also encompasses any service provided to customers in Massachusetts that provides a functional equivalent of that service or that is used to evade the protections set forth in this act.
“Data cap or allowance”, means a limit on, or a fee-based structure with the purpose of limiting, the number of bits a consumer may download or upload during a period of time specified by an Internet Service Provider.
“Net neutrality” means the principle that internet service providers must treat all internet communications equally and not discriminate or charge differently based on variables including, but not limited to user, content, website platform, application, type of equipment, source address, destination address or method of communication. It also includes the principle that internet service providers may not intentionally block, slowdown or charge for specific online content. Further, it includes the principle that internet service providers cannot prioritize certain types of traffic, meter others, or potentially block traffic from specific services, while charging consumers for various tiers of service.
(b) Notwithstanding any provision of general or special law to the contrary, there shall be in the department and under the supervision and control of the commissioner a division of broadband. The division, subject to such supervision and control, shall perform functions that the commissioner may determine in relation to the administration, implementation, and enforcement of the department's authority over the Broadband Internet Access Service industry.
(c) Notwithstanding any provision of general or special law to the contrary, the division, subject to supervision and control of the commissioner, may perform functions and enforcements over the Broadband Internet Access Service industry including, but not limited to: (a) rate regulation; (b) net neutrality; (c) minimum broadband download and upload speed; and (d) data caps and allowances.
SECTION 3. Notwithstanding any provision of general or special law to the contrary, Section 2(c) of this act shall take effect when the state has the authority.
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