Although the vast majority of Americans are in favor of net neutrality, political support for net neutrality in the US varies from state to state.

Comparitech researchers rated every US state on its support for net neutrality. Each state was scored in the following categories; legislation, senator support, attorney general support, town support and mayoral support. The maximum score achievable was 16. (Learn more about our methodology)

Here are the highlights of our analysis:

  • Massachusetts is the #1 ranked state in support of net neutrality, followed by New Jersey, New York, California, and Illinois.
  • Arkansas ranks last in support for net neutrality, followed by Wyoming, Louisiana, Utah, and South Dakota.
  • The top 17 states with the highest scores in favor of net neutrality all voted for Clinton in 2016, demonstrating how political support is deeply divided along party lines.
RankStateNet Neutrality Score2016 Vote
1Massachusetts16H. Clinton
2New Jersey15.64H. Clinton
3New York14.79H. Clinton
4California14.27H. Clinton
5Illinois13.75H. Clinton
6Oregon13.29H. Clinton
7Washington12.75H. Clinton
8Maryland12.5H. Clinton
9Connecticut12H. Clinton
10Hawaii12H. Clinton
11Rhode Island12H. Clinton
12Virginia11.08H. Clinton
13New Mexico11H. Clinton
14Colorado10.78H. Clinton
15Minnesota10.5H. Clinton
16Vermont10.33H. Clinton
17Delaware9H. Clinton
18Maine8.75n/a
19Montana8.67Trump
20Pennyslvania8.5Trump
21North Carolina8.15Trump
22New Hampshire8H. Clinton
23Wisconsin8Trump
24Iowa7.5Trump
25Florida7.41Trump
26Missouri7Trump
27Michigan6.81Trump
28Nevada6.17H. Clinton
29West Virginia6Trump
30Tennessee5.91Trump
31Texas5.71Trump
32Ohio5.39Trump
33South Carolina5.11Trump
34Indiana4.91Trump
35Kansas4.83Trump
36Kentucky4.63Trump
37Georgia4.56Trump
38Alabama4.11Trump
39Oklahoma3.71Trump
40Arizona3.27Trump
41Alaska3Trump
42Idaho3Trump
43Nebraska3Trump
44Mississippi2.83Trump
45North Dakota2Trump
46South Dakota2Trump
47Utah1.83Trump
48Louisiana1.63Trump
49Wyoming1Trump
50Arkansas0Trump

US states with strongest political support for net neutrality

Massachusetts

Score: 16/16

Massachusetts was the only state to receive a perfect score in our analysis. The state introduced several laws in both 2018 and 2019 that protect and support net neutrality. One has passed so far, ensuring ISPs declare their public practices regarding net neutrality matters, while four others are still pending.

All 11 state Senators have spoken out in support of net neutrality. The Massachusetts state Attorney General (AG) has signed the petition against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Boston, Summerville, and Springfield have all petitioned on the side of Mozilla against the FCC.

Seven mayors have signed the Cities Open Internet Pledge.

New Jersey

Score: 15.64/16

New Jersey introduced 10 bills in the past two years that aim to protect net neutrality. The New Jersey Net Neutrality Act was established in 2018, which prohibits network traffic prioritization.

Governor Phil Murphy also signed an executive order requiring that all future contracts with his administration regarding broadband internet be awarded to ISPs that adhere to net neutrality principles.

13 out of 14 New Jersey state senators support net neutrality. The state AG signed the petition against the FCC.

Newark and Princeton have petitioned on the side of Mozilla against the FCC.

11 mayors have signed the Cities Open Internet Pledge.

New York

Score: 14.79/16

New York’s legislative attempts to enforce net neutrality include nine bills introduced in 2017, none of which passed; an executive order enacted in 2018; and five unique bills introduced in 2019, all of which are still pending.

The 2018 executive order is very similar to New Jersey’s, prohibiting contracts under the governor’s administration be awarded to ISPs that do not adhere to net neutrality principles.

New York’s AG started the petition against the FCC that was signed by 22 other state attorneys general. The governor signed an executive order to oppose the FCC’s decision to repeal the Open Internet Order.

New York City, Buffalo, Ithaca, Schenectady, and Syracuse have all sided with Mozilla in its petition against the FCC.

Four mayors have signed the Cities Open Internet Pledge.

California

Score: 14.27/16

California introduced four bills to protect net neutrality in 2018, but none so far in 2019. One bill passed and one was adopted but put on hold.

That law prohibits ISPs from blocking online content and impairing or degrading lawful internet traffic on the basis of content, application, or service. It also prohibits paid prioritization.

47 senators in California are in favor of net neutrality, and eight oppose it. The state AG signed the petition against the FCC.

Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Jose have all petitioned on the side of Mozilla against the FCC.

22 mayors have signed the Cities Open Internet Pledge.

Illinois

Score: 13.75

Illinois legislators introduced seven net neutrality bills in 2018, none of which passed, and two bills in 2019 that are still in committee as of time of writing.

15 Illinois state senators are in favor of net neutrality, and five are against. The state AG signed the petition against the FCC.

Chicago and Cook County have both joined Mozilla’s petition against the FCC.

Four mayors have signed the Cities Open Internet Pledge.

Net neutrality by US state scoring methodology

We’ve scored each state across five categories and summed them up to get a total score and ranking. Here are the five categories and scoring systems for each explained:

  1. Legislation score: Rated on a scale from zero to five based on active or pending state legislation that protects net neutrality:
    • 5 = Act put in place or executive order signed
    • 4 = Signed resolution adopted or act in place, but on hold
    • 3 = Multiple pending bills introduced in 2018 and 2019
    • 2 = At least one pending bill introduced in 2018
    • 1 = One bill introduced but failed
    • 0 = No bills introduced
  2. Senator score: This shows the proportion of senators in each state who voted for or against net neutrality. A score of 5 means 100% of state senators have voiced support for net neutrality, and a score of zero means none have done so. For example, if 50% of senators in a given state support net neutrality, that state earns a senator score of 2.5.
  3. Attorney general Score:
    • 2 points if the state AG has signed the New York attorney general’s petition against the FCC
    • 1 point if they took no action
    • 0 points if they’ve signed in support of the FCC
  4. Town Score:
    • 2 points if more than one town in the state has signed the Mozilla vs FCC petition (PDF) in support of net neutrality in their town
    • 1 point if a single town in the state has signed in support of net neutrality in their town
    • 0 if no towns have signed in support of net neutrality
  5. Mayor Score:
    • 2 points if more than one mayor per state has signed the Cities Open Internet Pledge in support of net neutrality
    • 1 point if one mayor in the state signed
    • 0 points if no mayors in the state have signed

You can find our scoring data here.

We elected to give California and Vermont a legislation score of 4 even though they’ve only introduced bills, as they are holding off on implementing these until after the courts resolve any pending litigation over the FCC’s 2017 rollback of the Open Internet Order.

Net neutrality laws and bill in all 50 states, 2018-2019

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

  • No new bills introduced in 2018 or 2019

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

  • No bills introduced in 2018 or 2019

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

  • No bills introduced in 2018 or 2019

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

  • No bills introduced in 2018 or 2019

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

  • No bills introduced in 2018 or 2019

Ohio

  • No bills introduced in 2018 or 2019

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

  • No bills introduced in 2018 or 2019