California lawmakers on Friday passed a Bill that would guarantee full and equal access to the internet - a principle known as net neutrality - in the biggest pushback yet to the federal government's rollback of rules past year.
The bill seeks to turn California into the leader of a widening state-led backlash against the FCC, which did not respond to a request for comment. The bill needs only Senate concurrence, or agreement with Assembly revisions, before heading to Brown's desk too - but that must happen by midnight on August 31, the final day of the legislative session.
California Governor Jerry Brown delivers his final state of the state address in Sacramento, California, U.S., January 25, 2018.
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On Friday, proponents hailed the passage as a landmark move toward fair and free access to the internet, saying other states were sure to follow. It would prohibit, for example, AT&T from exempting videos from CNN or other outlets it owns from a monthly data cap that applies to competitors. A 2012 law limited the practice for minors, but Low's bill would have expanded the ban to adults.
"These bills share a common goal: to provide more certainty to innovators in California that their use of blockchain is not only permissible but encouraged", Calderon said, indicating the sunset provision will give lawmakers a chance to "evaluate the efficacy of SB 838" and update the definition of blockchain with guidance from the working group. Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman appointed by President Donald Trump, pitched the repeal as a way to stop the federal government from "micromanaging the internet".
California would become the fourth state to pass its own net neutrality protections, but the largest and most consequential. Broadband-industry-backed groups such as CALinnovates and the Congress of California Seniors argued against it.
Consumer groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a number of smaller tech companies including Etsy, Reddit and Sonos lined up in favor of the bill. Opponents of net neutrality have long said they favor less regulation. However, it's likely that it will face court challenges on a federal level, given that the FCC said that its order preempts states' rights, and therefore they're not allowed to restore the rules. They call it a bailout of Pacific Gas & Electric company.