California Net Neutrality Law Worries ISPs of Less Profit

In Decenternet, General, News
net neutrality law

Internet service providers are getting worried that their revenue will now become limited with the passage of the “gold standard” net neutrality.

Last month, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 822 into a law which is considered the most draconian net neutrality regulation in the nation. Many ISPs, especially Comcast are complaining about the measure that Sen. Scott Wiener and Assemblyman Miguel Santiago had co-authored.

Comcast, in particular, is lamenting about the cut in their revenues because of the passage of California net neutrality law. The country’s biggest cable company filed in court this month detailing the law’s possible effect on its capability to impose fees on online service providers as well as network operators for network connection.

“The paid interconnection provisions will harm Comcast’s ability to enter into new, mutually beneficial interconnection agreements with edge providers that involve consideration, leading to a loss of existing and prospective interconnection partners and significant lost revenues,” Comcast Senior VP Ken Klaer wrote in the filed complaint to the US District Court for the Eastern District of California.

On October 3, Comcast filed its complaint as a constituent of the broadband industry lawsuit. It wants to nullify SB 822 that would take effect on January 1st of next year lest the court authorizes a stay halting discharge. The broadband provider’s said filing is intended to back the industry’s demand for an admonition that will stop the implementation of the law while there is a pending litigation. It is worth noting that California enacted its own law because the Federal Communications Commission dismantled net neutrality protections as requested by ISPs which included Comcast that took effect in June of this year.

There is no absolute, precise effect of California’s net neutrality law on network connection agreements. SB 822 certainly bans blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization. It also forbids ISPs from imposing fees in exchange for distributing Internet traffic to consumers.

However, the law administers an otherwise measure to network interconnection. It is kind of traffic transposition that occurs at the end of each broadband provider’s network. It stated that ISPs such as Comcast could not involve in interconnection practices “with the intention or influence of fending off the provisions” of the net neutrality law. It means that providers such as Comcast cannot block or throttle internet traffic at interconnection points. Additionally, it is prohibited from demanding paid interconnection as the only possible choice for catching up to Comcast customers.

Comcast customers can be reached by websites without the need for interconnection payments. But still, purchasing the interconnection service guarantees a steadier route into the ISP’s network.

Comcast’s filing not only concerns the passage of California net neutrality law but also Cogent Communications. It is one of the biggest ISP that manages a worldwide network with direct contacts with several key ISPs. Edge providers compensate Cogent for transfer and traffic distribution. Based on the filing, Comcast said that net neutrality law will benefit Cogent.

In such cases that slow downloads struck an app developer, the only ones to put up with it are the Comcast customers from both directions – between Comcast and Cogent. Comcast disputes that Cogent must pay them because Cogent delivers more traffic into Comcast’s network rather than vice versa. Cogent, on the other hand, says that Comcast should be the one to pay since it does not operate a global network.

AT&T is another giant ISP that opposes the passage of SB 822 arguing that the implementation of the new legislation compromises to concern watchdogs in the tiny details of meticulously interlaced interconnection agreements which is concluding the physical points and at what degree of competency. The unusual regulatory interference will jeopardize the interconnection arrangements that reinforce the modern Internet and hinder network performance to the disadvantage of both network operators and customers. Not only the result will impair the public interest but also instigate AT&T significant irrevocable harm.

AT&T has interconnection arrangements with behemoth companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google to name a few. The implementation of the new law might generate a doubt if AT&T must keep offering interconnection services under the agreements, assuming that the provider will be reimbursed for the incurred expenses.

California’s SB 822’s restoration of net neutrality law is indeed a big leap for its residents. They expect no more blocking and throttling of contents like what Verizon did to the fire department’s data during its operation. Although the implementation will take effect next year, the residents are glad to be free from the wireless and broadband providers’ shady operations.

The Decenternet platform makes sure that everyone can still have an open internet. It does not discriminate contents but treats them fairly. It enables and protects the free speech of users by providing them unconstrained access to the centralized and decentralized web. In this way, users will have the freedom to interconnect online as they please.


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