This week California’s net neutrality bill passed through the California State Assembly. The bill went through on a vote of 61-18 – it will now move on to the senate (again), where a vote will likely happen next week.
California’s net neutrality bill is one of a number of state level responses to the FCC’s decision to repeal the existing legislation (Washington and Oregon are the only 2 states to have passed full net neutrality bills). It’s believed to be the toughest net neutrality bill in the U.S. This is because as well as preventing ISPs from throttling traffic, and stopping them from charging websites for special access to internet users, it also bans “zero rating” on certain apps (which is where using certain apps won’t count against a user’s data usage).
Miguel Santiago, (D-Los Angeles) said, when presenting the bill, that ““The Trump administration destroyed the internet as we know it, plain and simple… We have an opportunity in California to lead this nation by voting yes for this bill.”
However, there was some criticism of the bill from Republicans. For example, Jim Paterson, Republican Assemblymember for Fresno, argued that the argument needs to be resolved at a federal level. “The worst possible thing we can do is have created 50 different state FCCs.”
The EFF responds to California net neutrality vote
As you might expect, the EFF – the Electronic Frontier Foundation – was jubilant at the result. “You did it” exclaimed the title of a blog post published on the organization’s website on Thursday.
“ISPs have tried hard to gut and kill this bill, pouring money and robocalls into California. There was a moment where that campaign looked like it might have been successful, but you spoke out and got strong net neutrality protections restored. But that hiccup means that, although a version of the bill already passed in the California Senate, it’s now different enough from that initial version to have to be re-voted on.”
The EFF urged people in California to “contact your California state senator and tell them to vote yes.”
“California can prove that ISP money can’t defeat real people’s voices.”
Find out more about what you can do to support the net neutrality bill in California here.