Published: Sun, September 02, 2018
Money | By Bruce West

California approves net neutrality bill considered the strongest in the country

California approves net neutrality bill considered the strongest in the country

In its tough stance on network neutrality, the California bill prohibits ISPs from blocking or throttling data. Supporters of net neutrality rules have been fighting the FCC's ruling on multiple fronts.

Brown has not said whether he will sign the legislation. Almost three dozen states have introduced bills to replace the defunct regulations, and three states have already approved them.

The state's legislature on Friday passed a law that would re-institute net neutrality protections the FCC did away with in December.

The bill, written by Democratic Sen.

The California legislation includes numerous FCC's old rules, but goes even further.

Advocates hope streamlining the management of the Western grid would help integrate more renewables, allowing California to offload surplus solar power during sunny afternoons and import wind energy from other states when the sun isn't shining. Jerry Brown for signature. Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman appointed by President Donald Trump, pitched the repeal as a way to stop the federal government from "micromanaging the internet". It is sure to set up a fight between broadband providers, which say strict rules would increase their costs, and consumer groups, which seek to ensure that all traffic on the internet is treated equally. To opponents, the rules represented burdensome, harsh regulations on companies; for proponents, they were strong and necessary protections for consumers.

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.

"New York has already committed to follow what California does", Ernesto Falcon, legislative counsel for internet advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation, said Thursday.

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

Net neutrality has been a major policy issue in particular for smaller tech companies, which say they stand to be disadvantaged by special commercial partnerships that internet providers could seek with large, established firms such as Google, Facebook and Netflix. The rules prevented internet companies from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet.

Senate Bill 822 heads back to the state Senate, which must look at amendments introduced to the bill after senators endorsed it in May. However, because changes were made in the Assembly, the Senate must vote on the legislation again.

"Internet users are still royally pissed off about the FCC's repeal", Greer said in a statement following Friday's vote.

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