California Net Neutrality Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk

02 September, 2018, 03:44 | Author: Lora Ball
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Though Governor Brown has not yet signed the legislation, many in the state government approve of the bill, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Zero rating is when ISPs exempt certain types of online traffic from counting against customers' data caps.

The Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted to overturn Obama-era net neutrality protections earlier this year. On Friday, the state Senate tallied enough votes to pass the legislation. Kevin de Leon is close to being shelved in the state Assembly.

It is now unclear whether or not the California state governor, Jerry Brown, will approve the bill.

Federal net neutrality rules have been challenged in lawsuits several times over the past decade and the issue could eventually wind up before the Supreme Court. Thirty states have introduced Bills to ensure net neutrality. Almost three dozen states have introduced bills to replace the defunct regulations, and three states have already approved them. He has not taken a public stance on it, according to policy analysts, but the bill passed both Democrat-dominated state chambers by wide margins. In June, the state adopted an internet privacy law, the first in the nation. Almost three dozen other states are working on their own laws, and supporters hope California's bill will inspire even more states to follow suit.

Consumer advocates and large energy users have blasted the legislation as a bailout for Pacific Gas & Electric Co., which expects to pay billions of dollars due to fires started by the company's equipment in Northern California last October.

The bill still needs Governor Jerry Brown's signature to become law, however.

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was a longtime critic of the federal net neutrality rules.

The digital age requires more aggressive regulation, but it's a delicate balance between protecting consumers and companies. "And they're not going to let their elected officials get away with selling out their constituents by siding with big telecom companies", said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, a non-profit consumer advocacy group.

"President Trump didn't ruin the internet".

California's net neutrality debate is being closely watched by advocates around the country, who are looking to the home of Silicon Valley to pass sweeping net neutrality provisions that could drive momentum in other states or create pressure for Congress to enact nationwide protections. The bill also tasks the state attorney general with evaluating potential evasion of the net neutrality rules on a case-by-case basis. The rules prevented internet companies from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet.

Some are opposed to the new California bill. However, because changes were made in the Assembly, the Senate must vote on the legislation again.

Wiener said he hopes California's potential new rules could be emulated on a national level.

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