California Senate rallies votes for tough net neutrality bill

California Senate rallies votes for tough net neutrality bill

California Senate rallies votes for tough net neutrality bill

California lawmakers have voted to make net neutrality state law, becoming the latest of several states to approve such measures.

In the latest effort by California lawmakers to drive national policy and rebuff President Donald Trump, lawmakers approved one of the nation's most aggressive efforts to revive regulations repealed past year by the Federal Communications Commission.

More than 20 states are suing the FCC to overturn the agency's decision on net neutrality and almost three dozen states have introduced bills to replace the defunct regulations with three states have already approved them.

S.B. 327 by Jackson won a final vote of 28-9 in the Senate Aug. 29 to accept amendments made while the bill was in the Assembly.

The bill still needs Governor Jerry Brown's signature to become law, however.

The legislation primarily prohibits plans that exempt the same type of content from some companies over others - video streamed on YouTube but not Hulu, for example.

Utility workers would get protections for their jobs, salaries, benefits and pensions as part of a measure allowing California power companies to raise electric bills to cover the cost of lawsuits from last year's deadly wildfires. "However, the legislation includes extreme provisions rejected by the Obama FCC in 2015 and could threaten the innovation and investment that are the backbone of California's economy".

Critics say California would be foolish to give up the unique control it has over its grid operator, especially when President Donald Trump is looking to expand opportunities for coal plants and California is looking to shed coal from the grid.

With the bill's passage in the Assembly and a vote potentially in the Senate happening today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation called on California residents to tell their lawmakers to support the bill. Industry groups are urging Governor Brown to veto the bill.

Net neutrality has been a major policy issue in particular for smaller tech companies, which say they stand to be disadvantaged by special commercial partnerships that internet providers could seek with large, established firms such as Google, Facebook and Netflix. "California just took a huge step toward restoring protections that prevent companies like AT&T and Comcast from screwing us all over more than they already do".

Wiener said he hopes California's potential new rules could be emulated on a national level.

"Internet users are still royally pissed off about the FCC's repeal", said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, a consumer advocacy group.

Telecommunications industry groups including the California Cable and Telecommunications Association and the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association opposed the legislation.

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