Calif. lawmakers OK plan for 'strongest net neutrality protection' in nation

Doris Richards
July 9, 2018

Although SB 822 passed that committee and another one after that, Wiener said he would withdraw his bill if he couldn't restore the strong net neutrality protections he had intended when he wrote the bill. "We are restoring what we lost when Donald Trump's FCC obliterated the internet".

Net neutrality advocates worry that, without net neutrality rules, internet providers would be free to block political content, slow down websites from their competitors or drive consumers to their own content.

According to lawmakers who struck the deal, the bill will once again ban internet providers such as AT&T and Comcast from charging websites fees to reach customers or from incentivizing certain companies' content by exempting it from data caps. Wiener ended up withdrawing support of his own bill after the changes, calling it "toothless" legislation. NY acted first, with an executive order withholding state contracts from any company violating net neutrality principles. Current FCC chairman Ajit Pai endorsed the companies' zero-ratings offerings and officially closed the agency's investigation into the matter. The state legislature has until August 31 to vote on the bills.

Net neutrality protection looks set to return to California after nationwide rules were repealed by the Trump administration in December of past year ... "Today, the destruction of the internet is equal to if not more than past measures to keep us in the dark -and that's really what this is all about". "The protections against discriminatory zero rating schemes are especially essential for low-income Californians, who are disproportionately affected by low data caps".

Ending a dispute over a proposed net neutrality bill, California Democratic legislators said Thursday they have agreed on a proposal that would provide the strongest protections of open access to the internet in the country in response to last month's federal repeal of similar rules.

Santiago became the subject of online memes and a flood of calls to his office accusing the Los Angeles lawmaker of selling out to internet providers, citing his contributions from AT&T. The compromise legislation would prohibit internet service providers from charging websites fees for faster service while blocking or slowing websites that do not pay extra. But Pai, who pressed for the repeal, says the rules were "heavy-handed" and depressed investment.

De León's SB 460 will focus on requiring internet service providers that have state contracts to comply with the principles of net neutrality.

Meanwhile, a coalition of opponents including the California Chamber of Commerce believe creating a state net neutrality regulation is misguided and detrimental to Californians and the economy.

Santiago characterized the net neutrality issue as a way to resist the Trump's administration policies: "Now more than ever, we need to be able to tell stories and empower people with information that is accurate", he said at the press conference Thursday.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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