Net neutrality is closed to being restored in California. The bill SB- 822, managed to sail through the state’s legislative bodies. It is now en route to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for final approval.
The California Senate which is controlled by Democrats voted 27-12 to pass the bill which was approved by lawmakers in the State assembly a day earlier.
The bill’s author, Democrat Scott Wiener, said in a written statement released after the vote, “We did it, we passed the strongest net neutrality standards in the nation. The internet is at the heart of 21st century life – our economy, our public safety and health systems, and our democracy.”
The governor who is also a Democrat has not given any indication if he would sign the bill into law. He is given 30 days to act on the legislation.
Under Trump’s administration, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rescinded the following rules implemented during the Obama administration:
- Prevent Internet service providers from blocking legal content.
- Make it illegal for ISPs to slow down or speed up content based on type of service.
- Ban in order to establish “net neutrality”.
Supporters of the California proposed bill say that net neutrality rules would bar major internet providers from giving varying rates or charges to content providers.
No more “preferential treatments” meaning websites who can’t afford to pay high won’t get stuck in the “slow lanes” anymore.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) stated, “Large ISPs such as AT&T don’t like the bill. They’ve mustered a series of absurd arguments that have been repeatedly rebutted. And yet, they came very close to convincing lawmakers to weaken the bill in their favor.”
“It’s time for our federal lawmakers in the House of Representatives to follow the lead of the U.S. Senate and California State Senate, listen to their constituents, tech experts, and small business owners, and vote for the Congressional Review Act resolution,” says Evan Greer of digital rights group Fight for the Future.