California Delays Net Neutrality Law, Resolves Federal Charge First

In Decenternet, General, News
California's net neutrality law

California made a truce with the Federal Communications Commission to pause the implementation of the state’s net neutrality rules until the federal lawsuit has been resolved…that could take years.

On the evening of Sept. 30, Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 822 into California’s net neutrality law. It is considered to be the toughest net neutrality law among the nation that also passed their own, calling it the “gold standard.” However, so strict is Sen. Scott Wiener’s bill, the FCC picked on them and filed a lawsuit.

The US Department of Justice challenged California’s net neutrality law in an effort to halt its implementation by next year. State attorney general Xavier Becerra made an agreement with the department to suspend its enactment until the federal complaint has been dealt with.

The lawsuit’s result against the agency’s order will not certainly fix the net neutrality issue in California. US attorney general Jeff Sessions likewise appealed that California’s net neutrality law is void because of its attempt to control interstate commerce that only the federal government has the right to do so.

Some experts already anticipated the postponement in the implementation of California’s net neutrality law. Public Knowledge Senior VP Harold Feld noted that the federal agency’s net neutrality order could be disputed in the DC Circuit. The unresolved legal proceedings on the California law, if called out will need to arraigned to the state’s district court and that would be a violation of the  Hobbs Act. The best things to do is for both parties to wait for the decision on the federal rule to keep safe.

“Of course, I very much want to see California’s net neutrality law go into effect immediately, in order to protect access to the internet. Yet, I also understand and support the Attorney General’s rationale for allowing the DC Circuit appeal to be resolved before we move forward to defend our net neutrality law in court. After the DC Circuit appeal is resolved, the litigation relating to California’s net neutrality law will then move forward,” said Sen. Wiener in a press release.

California’s net neutrality law was forged because of the Internet Service Providers’ unlawful practices which were made worse by the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. The federal agency decided to nix the open internet in December 2017 and executed the Restore Internet Freedom Order in June of this year. The new law provided broadband providers more freedom to do what they want with their business procedures.

The repeal of net neutrality regulations became the focus of a legitimate fight between the FCC and consumer advocacy groups, the technology industry, state attorneys general. If the net neutrality advocate groups triumph in court, the rules from the previous Obama administration could stay where it was used to be. The court could also support the commission’s abdication of the regulations, but shake off the condition that prohibits states from delivering their own measures.

According to the current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, he is assured that the commission’s jurisdiction to preempt such state rules will be justified, together with their established market-based framework for safeguarding Internet transparency, expenditure, and nationwide innovation.

These awful business practices include blocking, throttling, and employing paid prioritization. They mercilessly discriminate contents and decide who goes into the fast or slow lanes. Clients with deep pockets get better and faster connection while those that belong to the low-income group settles for poor and worse connection, especially in the rural areas. This will bolster California’s inevitable situation against the justice department.

California wants to protect its constituents from these atrocious systems of large ISPs such as AT&T and Comcast. Verizon was reported to have throttled Santa Clara County Fire Department’s data during an emergency. These providers also lobbied for the invalidation of the state’s implementation of its own net neutrality rule.

The Bear Republic is not the only state that made an effort to shape its own net neutrality rules. Oregon and Washington have endorsed their own but less tough rules while governors of many other states have declared executive orders forbidding state agencies from doing business with ISPs that do not recognize net neutrality. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee expressed his readiness with the FCC’s action against his state.


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