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Mayors refuse business with anti-net neutrality vendors in open internet pledge

A group of city and county leaders are encouraging others from around the country to join their "name and shame" campaign.

Mayors of New York City, Austin, and Portland announced a new commitment Sunday to only work with vendors that honor net neutrality principles.

“We will not do business with any vendor that does not honor net neutrality,” Bill de Blasio, New York City’s mayor, said Sunday on a panel at South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive in Austin. “We need to name and shame any company that doesn’t honor net neutrality.”

During the panel discussion, de Blasio announced — a website where residents can encourage their own mayors sign up in support of net neutrality. As of publication time, 11 city mayors have signed on as “net neutrality cities.” Santa Cruz County, California, has also signed on in support.

They are:

  • Bill de Blasio, New York
  • Steve Adler, Austin
  • Ted Wheeler, Portland, Oregon
  • Ron Nirenberg, San Antonio, Texas
  • Sly James, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Mark Farrell, San Francisco
  • Catherine Pugh, Baltimore
  • Barney Seney, Putnam, Connecticut
  • Paul Soglin, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Sam Liccardo, San Jose, California
  • Jacob Frey, Minneapolis
  • Zach Friend, Santa Cruz County, California Board of Supervisors Chair

On the panel at SXSW, de Blasio, Adler and Wheeler “called on all other U.S. mayors to join them in a Cities Open Internet Pledge, which requires all internet providers with whom they do business to follow a strong set of Net Neutrality principles,” according to the initiative's website.

“We’re going to use our power to monitor in a very public manner which companies respect net neutrality and which ones may be violating it,” de Blasio said. “If they’re violating, we’re going to use our bully pulpit to get this out.”

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