California Senate rallies votes for tough net neutrality bill


In June, the FCC under President Donald Trump repealed rules adopted during the Obama administration that barred internet service providers from blocking content or charging more for access, a move meant to establish a more level playing field or "net neutrality".

The 58-17 vote Thursday was surprisingly lopsided after the Assembly was seen as a potential barrier to the bill's passage. "It's pretty clear", said Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, a Los Angeles Democrat.

The group, the Legislature specified, should include the state CIO or a designee; the state director of finance or a designee; three other state agency CIOs; one member each from the Senate and the Assembly; and 13 appointees.

Critics say the restrictions limit internet providers' ability to recoup the costs of network improvements and lead them to curb investment.

"When California acts, the world pays attention", said Stanford law professor Barbara van Schewick, who has researched net neutrality for more than a decade and testified multiple times in favor of the legislation.

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The measure "undercuts California's long history as a vibrant catalyst for innovation and technology", Jonathan Spalter, president and CEO of the industry group USTelecom, said in a statement. (A number of European countries have adopted similar measures.) Now the bill goes back to the Senate that already approved an earlier version, and then to Governor Jerry Brown. Jerry Brown (D) for either to take effect.

After Pai was appointed by President Donald Trump a year ago to head the FCC, one of his first acts was a plan to roll back the Obama-era regulations.

Internet-connected devices sold in California, such as thermostats, televisions, and security cameras, would need reasonable security features by January 2020 under two bills headed to Gov. "You're wading into an area where you have no business being". In the Assembly yesterday, six Republicans joined 55 Democrats to pass the bill in a 61-18 vote. The stronger provisions were later restored.

The bill would also ban "zero rating", according to NBC.

The legislation, which was the subject of intense lobbying by the broadband industry, would prevent internet providers from blocking, slowing or favoring certain websites. And it would make it illegal for carriers to exempt apps from consumers' monthly data caps if doing so could harm competing start-ups and small businesses in "abusive" ways.