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‘Gold standard’ net neutrality bill takes huge step forward in California

‘Gold standard’ net neutrality bill takes huge step forward in California

California could be headed for yet another showdown with federal regulators - this time over net neutrality.

After a hard-fought battle, California's net neutrality bill is now all but certain to make it to the finish line that is Gov. It prohibits internet providers from charging access fees to websites to connect to their customers, and it bans certain types of "zero rating" offerings.

California's legislation restores net neutrality regulations first imposed by the Federal Communications Commission in 2015, during the Obama administration.

The Democrat-controlled California Senate voted 27-12 to pass the bill, known as SB 822, with just hours left in the legislative session. Kevin de Leon is close to being shelved in the state Assembly. The bill now goes to Brown for signature into law.

Federal net neutrality rules have been challenged in lawsuits several times over the past decade and the issue could eventually wind up before the Supreme Court.

"Net neutrality is not dead". In June, Gov. Brown signed into law a sweeping new privacy law.

On Friday, proponents hailed the passage as a landmark move toward fair and free access to the internet, saying other states were sure to follow. Almost three dozen states have introduced bills to replace the defunct regulations, and three states have already approved them. It's expected that numerous largest ISP will file lawsuits, while California has also technically violated nationwide FCC rules put in place under current chairman Ajit Pai that say states can't make their own net neutrality laws.

The bill would also ban "zero rating", according to NBC.

"Our country is awash in guns, and schoolchildren are dying", said state Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat, argued that without the regulations, internet providers could "inhibit us or manipulate us away from our favorite web sites".

Industry groups have said a single, uniform law written by Congress would be far more effective at guaranteeing net neutrality protections for internet users. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, and Republicans have called for an end to the utility-like oversight of internet service providers. 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. They were joined in that action a week later by a coalition of trade groups representing companies including Alphabet, Facebook and Amazon.

After Pai was appointed by President Donald Trump previous year to head the FCC, one of his first acts was a plan to roll back the Obama-era regulations.


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