It seems that the Congress needs to interrupt the showdown between California net neutrality proponents and its oppositions.
California Gov. Jerry Brown’s endorsement of SB 822 on Sept. 30 is a huge victory for Californian residents. However, it is expected to create a great commotion among major trade groups that heavily lobbied to block Sen. Scott Wiener’s bill from becoming a law.
Before it was even signed into a law, the FCC already warned that the federal agency can sue states that will pass their own net neutrality laws. The Justice Department is also suing California for its actions hours after its passage because broadband services go across state lines.
Another lawsuit will be filed by major trade groups including USTelecom and CTIA — The Wireless Association to name a few.
“We oppose California’s action to regulate internet access because it threatens to negatively affect services for millions of consumers and harm new investment and economic growth. Republican and Democratic administrations, time and again, have embraced the notion that actions like this are preempted by federal law,” the group said in a statement.
They added that they will pursue their effort to make certain that Congress implements bipartisan statute to establish a constant foundation for safeguarding the open internet that consumers call for and be worthy of.
According to Boston College Law School associate professor Daniel Lyons, California will possibly assert that the pre-emption provision is illegal while the federal government will bid to acquire admonition to hinder the law from taking place. Moreover, it cites that the implementation of the law will only cause impairment.
In an answer to the trade group’s accusation, Atty. General Xavier Becerra retaliated stating that the case was conducted by influential entrepreneurs who possess an unmistakable financial gain in keeping their fortress on the public’s web entry to online contents. He also pointed out that California has the right to carry out its sovereign authorities in accordance with the Constitution. Along with other lawmakers, they will do everything in their power to safeguard the rights of their 40 million consumers to access contents by preserving a free and open Internet.
With the left and right accusation regarding net neutrality, it should be about time that Congress meddles with what’s going on. As time passes by, the issues are getting broader and were intensified by the latest news of Verizon’ data throttling of a fire department believed to be one of the grounds why SB 822 was endorsed.
Under the net neutrality regulations during the Obama-era administration, ISPs should treat all contents equally. It means that there is no blocking, throttling, or employment of paid prioritization. However, all of those significant rules were thwarted when the current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai decided to repeal it and implemented the federal agency’s new rules in June of this year.
California’s new neutrality law is stricter than the 2015 Open Internet Order as it added zero-rating to the restrictions. Zero-rating enables consumers to access certain services or websites without obliging data limits. Consumers with low income could choose a few free internets or settle with nothing. However, ISPs deciding on and selecting what approaches the consumers could be a huge problem. Congress must inform broadband providers to find ways where consumers can opt for the kind of data they desire to focus on instead of letting providers choose for the consumers.
Net neutrality has always been a part of peoples’ lives since the web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee. Its restoration will bring back the essence of an unfettered internet.
Consumers can still take advantage of net neutrality protections in the Decenternet platform. It does not engage in blocking and throttling of internet traffic since it does not discriminate contents, rather treats them equally. The platform provides unrestricted access to the decentralized and traditional websites giving users the liberty to openly communicate online.