California OKs measure to pass on wildfire costs via utility bills

California OKs measure to pass on wildfire costs via utility bills

The state's legislature on Friday passed a law that would re-institute net neutrality protections the FCC did away with in December.

The new bill will prohibit internet providers from blocking certain content or giving higher speeds to some kinds of internet sites over others.

The California Bill is the most significant victory for supporters of net neutrality rules since the FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, scrapped federal regulations previous year.

After passing through the California State Assembly's Communications and Conveyance Committee earlier this month, the bill known as SB 822 has passed the entire State Assembly. But it also goes further by snuffing paid interconnection deals and putting the kibosh on so-called "zero-rating" policies that exempt some traffic from data caps and other usage-based data policies. The bill now goes to Brown for signature into law.

The California legislation includes numerous FCC's old rules, but goes even further. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, and Republicans have called for an end to the utility-like oversight of internet service providers.

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.

Bernie-Backed Leftist Candidate for Florida Governor Advocates Replacing ICE with DOJ
To be sure, the Florida primary has gotten a lot of attention because of the nominations of DeSantis and Gillum. After DeSantis' monkey comment erupted online, Fox News anchor Sandra Smith raised it on the cable channel.

California's net neutrality debate is being closely watched by advocates around the country, who are looking to the home of Silicon Valley to pass sweeping net neutrality provisions that could drive momentum in other states or create pressure for Congress to enact nationwide protections. Broadband-industry-backed groups such as CALinnovates and the Congress of California Seniors argued against it. New York State is considering a net neutrality law that mirrors the California Bill.

Internet providers say they've publicly committed to upholding the values of net neutrality, but strict rules like California's would inhibit investment in faster technology.

Without strong rules, say companies such as Eventbrite and Vimeo, internet providers could engage in anticompetitive behavior that harms smaller online companies, reducing consumer choices.

"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. 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.

The bills are opposed by the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association, Entertainment Software Association, and National Electrical Manufacturers Association. "They're still paying attention".

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