Alaska Senate makes statement supporting net-neutrality

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Senate has narrowly approved a formal statement supporting a "free and open" internet that's equally accessible to all consumers.

The so-called Sense of the Senate also calls on Congress to overturn a Federal Communications Commission decision to end net-neutrality protections. It passed 11-7. Eleven votes are the minimum needed to pass in the Senate.

The FCC in December voted to gut U.S. rules meant to prevent broadband companies from exercising more control over what people watch and see online.

Sen. Bill Wielechowski, an Anchorage Democrat who sponsored the Senate statement, says it's important for state lawmakers to weigh in on the issue before the new rules take effect next week.

Bills pending in the Alaska Legislature seek to prevent internet service providers in the state from blocking or interfering with internet access. But those bills haven't moved much. Alaska major internet providers said they would honor net neutrality even if it's not a requirement.

KTUU reporter Richard Mauer contributed to this report.

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