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California Streamin': State Gets Tough on Net Neutrality

02 September 2018

California could become the fourth state to approve net neutrality regulations if Brown signs the bill.

The California Senate today voted to approve the toughest state-level net neutrality bill in the U.S., one day after the California Assembly took the same action. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, the law's implementation would "ensure that California protects full access to the internet".

Lawmakers in California are seeking to bar internet service providers like AT&T and Comcast from blocking or slowing down the transmission of web traffic to the state's broadband customers. It would reinstate protections that are similar to those that were rescinded nationally by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) a year ago.

The Democratic-controlled Senate voted 27-12 to pass the bill, SB 822, with just hours left in the legislative session. Jerry Brown's desk, where a signature from the governor will restore tight internet regulations to the nation's most important market.

"SB822 sets the standard for other states to follow".

It is now unclear whether or not the California state governor, Jerry Brown, will approve the bill. It gave California internet users the ability to know what information a company like Facebook or Google was collecting, and how it was being used and shared with third parties.

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

"President Trump didn't ruin the internet". The bill also tasks the state attorney general with evaluating potential evasion of the net neutrality rules on a case-by-case basis.

Telecom industry groups and lobbyists warned the bill would be challenged in federal court.

Internet companies say they're committed to upholding net neutrality principles but it's unrealistic for them to comply with different regulations around the country. The rules prevented internet companies from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet. In June, the measure appeared to hit a sudden snag when a key Assembly committee voted to strip out its toughest language - provisions that were restored two weeks later amid pressure from activists.

Eshoo mentioned, as a reason new rules are needed, Verizon's recent throttling of internet data for Santa Clara County firefighters as they fought the Mendocino Complex fire, the largest in California history.

The bills are opposed by the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association, Entertainment Software Association, and National Electrical Manufacturers Association. They call it a bailout of Pacific Gas & Electric company. "They're still paying attention".

California Streamin': State Gets Tough on Net Neutrality