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Net neutrality bill in California takes major step forward

The bill now faces a vote in the state Assembly and state Senate.

Jan 27, 2021, 9:02 pm*

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Andrew Wyrich

A bill in California passed through a committee that had previously watered it down earlier this summer, potentially paving the way for the “gold standard” law to become reality.

The bill would widely reinstate net neutrality protections in California that are similar to the ones the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rescinded last year. It blocks internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking, slowing down, or speeding up specific internet traffic. It has been heralded as a “gold standard” for states looking to pass their own net neutrality laws in light of the FCC’s decision.

The state’s Assembly Committee on Communications and Conveyance voted 9-3 to push the bill forward, The San Francisco Chronicle reports. In late June internet advocates blasted the committee for stripping provisions in the bill, however, those protections were put back into it.

The bill now faces a full state Assembly and state Senate vote before Gov. Jerry Brown (D) can sign it into law.

“SB 822 is the best state-level net neutrality bill in the nation. Passing it should be a no-brainer for the California legislature. This is a test of our democracy,” Evan Greer, the deputy director of internet rights group Fight for the Future, said in a statement.

Several states have taken it upon themselves to ensure net neutrality protections are in place after the FCC’s vote. Meanwhile, the United States Congress has also begun efforts to overturn the FCC’s decision using the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The Senate passed its version of the CRA earlier this summer, the House is still trying to secure enough votes to pass their own version—which requires a simple majority to pass.

Several states and tech firms are also suing the FCC in order to restore the rules.

You can read all of the San Francisco Chronicle’s report here.

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*First Published: Aug 23, 2018, 10:16 am