California Moves Closer to Reintroducing Net Neutrality

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Lawmakers in California yesterday voted in favour of implementing new and strengthened net neutrality measures in the state.

Today is the deadline for new 2018 legislation. The senate may approve or disapprove the law today, or it may wait until next year.

The Legislative Counsel’s Digest reads: “This bill would enact the California Internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act of 2018. This act would prohibit fixed and mobile Internet service providers, as defined, that provide broadband Internet access service, as defined, from engaging in specified actions concerning the treatment of Internet traffic.

The act would prohibit, among other things, blocking lawful content, applications, services, or nonharmful devices, impairing or degrading lawful Internet traffic on the basis of Internet content, application, or service, or use of a nonharmful device, and specified practices relating to zero-rating, as defined.

“It would also prohibit fixed and mobile Internet service providers from offering or providing services other than broadband Internet access service that are delivered over the same last-mile connection as the broadband Internet access service, if those services have the purpose or effect of evading the above-described prohibitions or negatively affect the performance of broadband Internet access service.”

Digital rights advocate Evan Greer argued in a statement that service providers like Comcast should not have the right to choose which legal content consumers have access to.

He said: “Big ISPs spent millions on campaign contributions, lobbyists and dark ads on social networks, but in the end, it was no match for the passion and dedication of net neutrality supporters using the internet to sound the alarm and mobilize.”

Net neutrality protections brought in under the Obama administration were withdrawn in December by the FCC.

Read more here.