California passes ‘Gold Standard’ net-neutrality protections | Infrastructure | News | Rapid TV News
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The California Assembly has approved a state-level network neutrality bill by an overwhelming majority, which would instate Obama-era internet regulations across the Golden State.

california 1 sept 2018On a vote of 61 to 18, the state’s house of representatives approved SB 822, which would mandate no blocking, throttling or paid prioritisation by ISPs for broadband services for California consumers.

The fight isn’t over yet: The state senate still needs to pass it, and Governor Jerry Brown (D), will need to sign it.

“ISPs have tried hard to gut and kill this bill, pouring money and robocalls into California,” said the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “There was a moment where that campaign looked like it might have been successful, but [the people] spoke out and got strong net-neutrality protections restored. But that hiccup means that, although a version of the bill already passed in the California Senate, it’s now different enough from that initial version to have to be re-voted on.”

If approved, the law would attempt to apply the federal net-neutrality rules  that Ajit Pai’s conservative FCC rolled back last autumn, with a new aspect: applying them to interconnections between ISPs. However, it’s likely that it will face court challenges on a federal level, given that the FCC said that its order preempts states’ rights, and therefore they’re not allowed to restore the rules.

“Consumers expect a single, national approach to keeping our internet open, not the confusing patchwork of conflicting requirements passed today," said Jonathan Spalter, president at USTelecom, an industry group for telephone companies across the US. "The California Assembly’s vote today keeps the country strapped into a roller-coaster ride of state net neutrality regulations, but won’t get us any closer to the stable and consistent net neutrality protections consumers deserve in the long term.”

The EFF added, “We’re in the home stretch here. California could ... provide a template for states going forward. California can prove that ISP money can’t defeat real people’s voices.”