Monday, 10 December, 2018

California Governor signs strong net neutrality protections into law

California State Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson attends the Dinner For Equality event on Feb. 25 2016 in Beverly Hills California's 'gold standard' net neutrality becomes law
Orlando Vargas | 01 October, 2018, 21:54

The bill passed the state legislature with overwhelming and bipartisan support, and could unleash a wave of similar efforts in other states, with serious implications in the fight to restore net neutrality nationwide.

"Sessions and his boss Donald Trump aren't satisfied with the federal government repealing net neutrality".

Yesterday one of the toughest net neutrality bills now being considered in the United States was signed into law by the Governor of California.

U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions said in a statement that "states do not regulate interstate commerce - the federal government does", after California became the largest state to enact its own rules requiring internet providers to treat all web traffic equally.

Supporters of the new law cheered it as a win for internet freedom.

He has previously argued that ending net neutrality would give the private sector "greater incentives to invest" in the new generation of super-fast 5G wireless networks and ensure the United States keeps its technological edge over other nations.

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"When the FCC chose to ignore the millions of consumers who urged them not to repeal net neutrality protections a year ago, it left a void that state lawmakers are now rightfully filling", Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union tells the Times.

The Justice Department nearly immediately filed its lawsuit, arguing Senate Bill 822 interferes with the federal government's deregulatory approach to the internet, according to a statement. California was also the largest state to impose their own net neutrality regulations. Scott Wiener, the law's author.

USTelecom, a telecommunications trade group, said California writing its own rules will create problems.

After the governor's veto, Leyva said she will introduce the bill next session.

Rules governing online access have undergone numerous court challenges and regulatory moves over the past decade, and in December the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 along party lines to reverse a 2015 order which established net neutrality.

Beyond the debate over preemption, California also is expected to justify its legislation under its legal mandate to protect the health and welfare of its residents, which is protected under the 10th Amendment, Martin added. California's net neutrality law prohibits this sort of thing. "While the Trump Administration does everything in its power to undermine our democracy, we in California will continue to do what's right for our residents". According to Marc Martin, a telecom attorney at the firm Perkins Coie, there is precedent for the federal government to say it won't regulate a certain interstate commerce issue and then to seek to prevent states from filling the gap.

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