State lawmakers send net neutrality proposal to the governor

Dmitrii Melnikov

Dmitrii Melnikov

The state's legislature on Friday passed a law that would re-institute net neutrality protections the FCC did away with in December. The bill now goes to Brown for signature into law.

The California Bill is the most significant victory for supporters of net neutrality rules since the FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, scrapped federal regulations a year ago.

But the current FCC, led by Republican Chairman Ajit Pai, repealed those regulations in June, with Pai calling them "heavy-handed".

In June, the FCC under President Donald Trump repealed rules adopted during the Obama administration that barred internet service providers from blocking content or charging more for access, a move meant to establish a more level playing field - "net neutrality".

"This should send a message to other states as well as to members of Congress, Americans are serious about the importance of net neutrality, and are ready and willing to fight for their right to create, communicate, and engage online without giant ISPs serving as gatekeepers", Stevenson said in a statement.

Scott Wiener and is meant to prevent internet service providers (ISP) from changing how they handle traffic based on the websites visited.The bill prohibits ISPs from purposefully blocking legal content, "engaging in third-party paid prioritization" and intentionally concealing information about network management practices, among other things. It also stops Internet providers from using some types of "zero-rating", when companies exempt certain traffic from counting against a customer's data usage.

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Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has not said if he will sign the bill into law.

The governor will also get the final say on a bill that would bar middle and high schools from starting before 8:30 a.m., a response to research showing later start times make children healthier by letting them get more sleep.

Blockchain, the electronic ledger technology being eyed by several states, could see some private-sector availability next year in California along with some state-level scrutiny, as two bills centered on the topic near Gov. Industry groups are urging Governor Brown to veto the bill.

Jonathan Spalter, the president and CEO of the industry group USTelecom spoke out against the legislation in a statement according to NBC. Not only doubling down but improving on previous measures, the legislation would protect consumers from being charged extra for access to websites and provide consistent speeds and quality for streaming services. The court is already weighing whether to hear an unrelated lawsuit on net neutrality. In January, attorneys general of more than 20 states sued the FCC.

Per the New York Times, the landmark bill includes measures even "stronger and more consumer-friendly" than those previously put in place by the Obama administration.

The FCC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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