Published: Sun, September 02, 2018
Sci-tech | By Javier West

California sends net neutrality bill to governor's desk

California sends net neutrality bill to governor's desk

New York State is considering a net neutrality law that mirrors the California bill.

Jerry Brown will decide whether California should have the nation's strongest protections for net neutrality rules meant to ensure a level playing field on the internet after the measure cleared the final legislative hurdle on Friday.

It will now head to Governor Brown, who has until September 30 to veto the legislation or sign it into law. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, would prohibit internet providers from blocking or slowing data based on its content or from favoring websites or video streams from companies that pay extra.

The Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted to overturn Obama-era net neutrality protections earlier this year.

The Democrat-controlled California Senate voted 27-12 to pass the bill, known as SB 822, with just hours left in the legislative session. Jerry Brown's office in light of the proposal garnering similar support Thursday by lawmakers in the California Legislature's lower house. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called net neutrality laws "micromanaging" of the internet, reported NBC back in November.

Telecommunications industry groups including the California Cable and Telecommunications Association and the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association opposed the legislation. Consumer groups, however, argued that the rules were vital to protect users at a time when internet providers are focused on buying up media companies and establishing Facebook-like businesses that mine user data for advertising purposes.

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

Now that it has passed the California State Assembly, SB822 moves on to the State Senate where it should have no difficulty passing. However, because changes were made in the Assembly, the Senate must vote on the legislation again. Many fear the "cabelisation of the internet" that would occur under the absence of net neutrality.

"ISPs have tried hard to gut and kill this bill, pouring money and robocalls into California", said Katharine Trendacosta, policy analyst for Electronic Frontier Foundation, in a letter to supporters after the Assembly vote. "And they're not going to let their elected officials get away with it if they sell out their constituents by siding with big telecom companies".

The federal government could sue the state of California over the law, leading to an eventual showdown in the Supreme Court.

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