Countering FCC, Calif. Lawmakers Pass Net Neutrality Law

Under new law, bars in LA, Oakland and other Californian cities could serve alcohol until 4 AM

California's state Assembly is attempting to turn back time on net neutrality by voting yesterday to approve a controversial bill that brings the state closer to enacting the Obama-era Federal net neutrality laws that were gutted by the FCC earlier this year.

The bill was passed in a large margin by the State Senate on Friday, and now democratic Governor Brown has until the end of September to make a decision.

The milestone was celebrated by net neutrality advocates who hope it will help drive a national policy prohibiting internet companies from favoring certain websites over others. It would bar providers from collecting new fees from apps and sites as a condition of reaching internet users. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Restoring Internet Freedom Order went into effect in June and its supporters said the internet could "flourish" again like before the 2015 net neutrality regulation went into place. After making it through the Assembly on a 48-25 vote in May, the Senate approved it this week 25-12. Jerry Brown for signature.

"The premise fundamentally of net neutrality is that we as individuals get to decide where we go on the internet as opposed to be told by internet service providers", said Sen. To opponents, the rules represented burdensome, harsh regulations on companies; for proponents, they were strong and necessary protections for consumers. "This legislation is the gold standard for net neutrality protections, and passed thanks to the enormous grassroots push for the bill".

Pai's critics have launched a multi-pronged effort to reverse that move, filing lawsuits in federal court, demanding a congressional vote to overrule the FCC and pushing for state legislation - such as California's. The bill also tasks the state attorney general with evaluating potential evasion of the net neutrality rules on a case-by-case basis. A California law could have nationwide implications, since internet service providers are loath to operate under multiple sets of rules. Many fear the "cabelisation of the internet" that would occur under the absence of net neutrality. However, because changes were made in the Assembly, the Senate must vote on the legislation again.

Internet providers also argue it could lead to higher prices for consumers.

The measure sent to Gov. "And they're not going to let their elected officials get away with it if they sell out their constituents by siding with big telecom companies".

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