California is poised to pass legislation countering the Trump administration's repeal of Obama-era net neutrality protections after the state Senate advanced a bill Friday prohibiting internet service providers from engaging in business practices including throttling connection speeds and extrajudicially blocking websites.
The Democratic-controlled Senate voted 27-12 to pass the bill, SB 822, with just hours left in the legislative session. Jerry Brown's desk in hopes that a signature will restore consumer protections that the Federal Communications Commission revoked in December. It's expected that numerous largest ISP will file lawsuits, while California has also technically violated nationwide FCC rules put in place under current chairman Ajit Pai that say states can't make their own net neutrality laws.
The California law would go beyond the earlier FCC rules, most notably by outlawing certain types of "zero-rating" programs, where companies exempt their own streaming services from data caps that apply to other providers.
More than 20 states are suing the FCC to overturn the agency's decision on net neutrality.
More: Net-neutrality is over.
The bills are joined together, so that both must be signed by Gov. Almost three dozen states have introduced bills to replace the defunct regulations, and three states have already approved them. The repeal came as a great win for internet providers.
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Analysts say other states are watching how California will handle the issue.
Critics say the restrictions limit internet providers' ability to recoup the costs of network improvements and lead them to curb investment.
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.
Blockchain, the electronic ledger technology being eyed by several states, could see some private-sector availability next year in California along with some state-level scrutiny, as two bills centered on the topic near Gov.
"I am incredibly proud of the work we have done to protect Californians everywhere, who deserve equal and open to access to this modern day necessity", Mr. Wiener said in a statement.