Calif. Senate Approves Net Neutrality Rules, Sends Bill To Governor

from ars technica

The California Senate today voted to approve the toughest state-level net neutrality bill in the US, one day after the California Assembly took the same action.

With both legislative houses having approved the bill, California Governor Jerry Brown has until September 30 to sign it into law.

The final vote was 27-12, with all 26 Democratic senators and Republican Senator Ling Ling Chang voting in favor. All 12 no votes came from Republican senators. In the Assembly yesterday, six Republicans joined 55 Democrats to pass the bill in a 61-18 vote.

More here.

Posted in Innovation, Law, Web and tagged , , , .

3 Comments

  1. Net Neutrality is a concept implemented and supported heavily by the Obama administration in 2015. During this administration, a law was passed prohibiting the blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization of internet services. Under the current administration these protections are repealed as of April 23, 2018. Internet service companies can now slow transmission of certain data, discriminate against what users can and cannot see, and require internet users to pay premiums for higher speeds. This was very advantageous for the internet providers such as Comcast and ATT&T; companies like these can now profit even further on a services they were already providing. Unfortunately this bill is not advantageous for consumers as many now will face restrictions and increased costs on a services that in this day in age are borderline essential to function effectively in society.

    The strong support for this bill is a comforting to see in government. The repeal of net neutrality under the current administration demonstrated that the government was not keeping the people it governs in mind and instead was succumbing to big business money and lobbyist. Therefore, to see that California’s state government is taking a stand against the federal government in order to protect the interests of its people should be applauded. As said in the article above, this move will hopefully set a standard and precedent for other states. Provided the Governor of California does sign off on the law, a domino effect could be set in motion to increase the number of states participating in this movement. Additionally, this action taken by the California Senate acts as a reassurance to citizens that government does have the ability to put the people’s needs ahead of big business. Many internet providers sunk large sums of money into lobbying against California and the people’s’ interests still prevailed. Over all, this action bodes well for consumers and restores faith in the government to protect the interest of its people.

  2. It is safe to say that the future of technology is constantly growing. In my opinion, if the government had gotten rid of net neutrality in the past, the way we use our technology and all the convenient services it has to offer would see a complete change. This would be so because if people now had to pay a service fee for being able to use applications that are currently free such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, they would not use them as much anymore. It would add onto another unnecessary expense for the American people and would be considered more of a luxury to obtain. This potential outcome would not sit well with most of the American population because that can be comparable to giving a baby candy and then taking it away from them soon after. As someone who is already too accustomed to having open internet, I would be angered if I found out I had to pay for such applications. This can also create customer dissatisfaction and deter customer loyalty from these telecom companies.

    I am for California’s decision to attempt to set a strong precedent that is in favor of net neutrality. The state is trying to place a bigger emphasis on its people instead of businesses. The businesses who are heavily lobbying to get rid of net neutrality are only looking to make a profit out of it, which is unfair. I believe that the people of our country will make the right decision regarding matters to continue to have our net neutrality laws. Removal of these laws are mere attempts for businesses to scheme the people of the United States.

  3. Although Governor Jerry Brown signed the law into action the Justice Department has now filed a lawsuit and California attorney general Xavier Becerra has agreed to halt the law (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/30/technology/net-neutrality-california.html.) The implications of the lawsuit are massive because California has defied federal law in the past, setting unofficial precedents for other states to follow. If the law goes into affect it will set in motion a series of steps in which other states try to enact their own individual state laws while not adhering to federal law. The change now puts ISPs under Title 1which means that regulation of the ISPs is under the Federal Trade Commission. In a strange occurrence of circumstances the FCC ruling essentially does not give the FCC authority to enforce its own policies.
    The responses to the repeal of the Open Internet Order in 2018 has subsequently lead to attorneys general from 22 states to file a collective petition with the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals in D.C. disputing the FCC’s order on grounds of violating the U.S. Constitutions and Communications Act of 1934 (http://www.ncsl.org/research/telecommunications-and-information-technology/net-neutrality-legislation-in-states.aspx; https://ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/petition_-_filed.pdf). California is not the only state that has passed legislation against the FCC decision to reverse the Obama-era FCC rules. Oregon for example passed a law in 2018 that requires ISPs providing service to state agencies to not engage in activities such as slowing down or blocking websites. The ISPs will be required to describe their network management techniques (https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/04/oregon-finalizes-net-neutrality-law-despite-likelihood-that-isps-will-sue/).
    The uncertainty over whether net neutrality falls under Title 1 or Title 2 may necessitate considering new legislation. The vacillating jurisdiction over which ISPs fall under may suggest that previous legislation is outdated and new legislation is needed. An act of Congress to officially define the service that ISPs provide would provide clarity on the subject and define which agency will retain the right to regulate (or not regulate) ISPs. Most recently a Congressional Review Act (CRA) circulated through the Senate and has now gone to the House in an attempt to reverse the decision to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order. The petition however was not able to obtain enough votes to overturn the FCC regulations (https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/12/net-neutrality-bill-gains-votes-in-congress-but-not-enough-to-reverse-repeal/; https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/net-neutrality-cra-congress-deadline/).

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