California Committee Passes ‘Gold Standard’ Net Neutrality Bill

In Decenternet, News

SB 822 has passed another hurdle.

Sen. Scott Wiener’s SB 822 is a robust net neutrality bill and has been called the “gold standard” for no reason which was passed by the California Legislature’s Communications Committee. It would restore the rules that protected consumers from blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization of internet service providers. Adding to the measure is the curbing of zero-rating plans and administers regulations to interconnections.

A few amendments have been made to the bill and were passed by the same assembly. However, net neutrality advocates were not happy at all with the changes made to the bill. Assemblyman Miguel Santiago removed some of the most significant measures and allowed zero-rating plans. Because of the pressure, he has no choice but to restore what he removed from SB 822.

Sen. Wiener’s bill is also established to ascertain that internet service providers comply to net neutrality regulations to what is being called interconnection points. It is where traffic from firms like Netflix pass onto broadband networks to be dispatched to customers.

The vote resulted to 8-2 in favor of the bill. Democrat Sen. Kevin de Léon’s SB 460 also passed the committee. It is worth remembering that the two bills complement each other and cannot pass without the other. The vote took place following the brief filing of attorneys general from 22 states to a US Appeals Court in an effort to overturn the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. Other companies also filed their briefs including Firefox and trade groups.

During the vote held on August 22, a congregation of different people, organizations, and business sectors attended the hearing to express their support about the bill. Those are present include ADT Security Services, ACLU, California Association of Realtors, California Clean Money Campaign, Green Party, NextGen California, Santa Clara Board of Supervisors, and the Writers Guild of America West.

Those who oppose the bill and would not want to miss the discussions include ISPs like AT&T, Comcast, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Other companies that joined the line up are California Chamber of Commerce, California Manufacturers & Technology Association, Consolidated Communications, and Cox.

AT&T vice president of legislative affairs, Bill Devine pointed out to the committee that restoring the prohibition against zero-rating will harm both low-income and marginal consumers. It was also noted of the bill’s enforcement of the regulations to paid interconnections. Although it was not done in the 2015 Open Internet order, the issues will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

He called SB 822 as anticompetitive and anti-consumer and should expect confrontation under the FCC’s federal preventive measures. The representative added that it would elevate prices and evict notable free data programs and accumulate litigation costs.

The California Cable & Telecommunications Association argues that the state was eclipsing its authority due to the fact that the internet was a regional service and that a state legislation patchwork will force operational burdens and considerable legal challenges.

Without the protection of net neutrality regulations, internet access will never be the same again. However, consumers can still take advantage of it at Decenternet. The platform excludes the notion of blocking, throttling, or even paid prioritization. It treats contents fairly and equally without any hint of discrimination. Users are likewise provided with boundless access to the centralized and centralized web, thus, giving them the freedom to freely communicate online.

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