California to Consider Bill that Restores Net Neutrality

The California legislature is considering a bill that would restore net neutrality on a state-wide level when the FCC repeal of net neutrality takes effect next week.

The California net neutrality bill, SB 822, was written by State Senator Scott D. Wiener, D-San Francisco.  The text of SB 822 is attached here.

According to the Mercury News, SB 822 would be “stronger” than the net neutrality rules adopted in President Obama’s administration, which “required equal treatment of all Internet traffic,” and “prohibited the establishment of Internet slow and fast lanes.”  SB 822 also prohibits “zero rating”, which as Mercury News reports, is when “Internet providers exempt certain content, sites, and services from data caps.”  SB 822 further prohibits public agencies from entering into contracts in violation of the bill.

SB 822 is opposed by the broadband industry on the basis that the industry opposes state-level net neutrality rules, but is supported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the ACLU, the mayors of many of the largest cities in the state including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, and Los Angeles.

If SB 822 is adopted, California would not be the first state to enact a net neutrality law.  The New York Times reported that Washington State signed the first net neutrality bill.  The governors of Montana and New York have signed executive orders making net neutrality effective at the state-level, according to reports by The New York Times and The Verge.

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