Californians may now stop dreaming because the net neutrality they have been fighting for will now become a reality.
When Democratic Assemblyman Miguel Santiago gutted some of the most important provisions from the Sen. Scott Wiener’s SB 822, citizens of the state thought that all hope has gone. The incident created huge commotion among advocates of net neutrality, from residents to the business sector. It is worth noting that AT&T contributed to his campaign. Santiago was even attacked online as well as his families with memes that mocked them up. He might have been enlightened and reversed his decision.
Last month, Sen. Wiener and Sen. Kevin de Leon collaborated with each other to strengthen their bills, SB 822 and SB 460 respectively and to boost stronger net neutrality protections in the state. There are arguments which one should pass since SB 460 precedes SB 822 but lacks stricter open internet principles compared with the latter. The senators both agreed to make some amendments since one bill cannot pass without the other.
The joining of two bills is created to cripple ISPs which promise not to block, throttle, or engage in paid prioritization. However, promises are made to be broken. Cable companies, on the other hand, like Sling TV and other pay-TV firms are imposing a price hike for their services. Binge watching will now be an expensive hobby for everyone who loves to watch movies and TV shows for long periods.
Huge internet providers disagreed that they slow down or delay internet traffic and breach other net neutrality rules. AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said in a letter:
“We don’t block websites. We don’t censor online content. And we don’t throttle, discriminate, or degrade network performance based on content. Period.”
Now, that the coast is clear, SB 822 can pave its way to the legislation without any more worries. Remember that Santiago stripped the bill and Sen. Wiener is terribly disappointed that his bill is not worth passing. The assemblyman is just worried that consumers will not be able to take advantage of the zero-rate plans if the measure is legislated as written. However, he and Santiago came to an agreement, and the original provisions are back in place. Both men fathomed their disparities leading to the return of the considered most comprehensive net neutrality law in the state.
“We need to ensure the internet is an open field where everyone has access, the companies that are providing internet access are not picking winners and losers,” Sen. Wiener informed the reporters.
The California State Assembly is dominated by Democrats noting that Gov. Jerry Brown is a Democrat as well. Luck is on the side of SB 822, and its supporters come to think that there are a couple of other states which have the same bills that go through the lawmaking procedures.
SB 822 is indeed the most compelling net neutrality law like the Decenternet platform. It does not only advocate open internet but also empowers and protects free speech. It provides users with limitless access to the decentralized and centralized web where they can freely interconnect online.