California combines two bills to fight for Net Neutrality in the state

Heather Parry

By Heather Parry

19 June 2018

Two seperate bills aimed at restoring Net Neutrality to California have been combined this week by the state’s lawmakers, creating one bill that would cover all of the state’s 40 million residents.

Following the Federal Communication Commission (FCC)’s repeal of its own Net Neutrality regulations, several states in the US have tabled bills to try to offer some of the lost protections to their residencts.

The FCC’s rules, as they stood, kept internet service providers (ISPs) from creating a two-tier internet provision, prioritizing content that’s been paid to be prioritized, and blocking or throttling content that hasn’t. They also made it difficult for ISPs to charge extortionate rates for different “packages” of internet content; for instance, a base rate for internet access, and additional charges for access to social media sites, sports streaming sites, etc.

Now that these rules have been repealed, US internet users are theoretically open to these actions—but some are trying to put replacement bills in place before too much changes. By combining the two bills mentioned above, California lawmakers are hoping to do just that—and to make the protetions watertight.

Bills SB 822 and SB 460 will be brought together by “contingent enactment”, meaning that both bills have to pass, or neither is brought into law. Senators Scott Wiener and Kevin de León, the authors of the bills, are both Democrats, but appear to be open to wider support to ensure Net Neutrality is saved in the state.

Senator Wiener this week said:

California must step up to protect our residents and businesses. I’m thrilled to partner with Senator De Leon and our broad coalition to get this bill passed.

If the combined bills receive support from the Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection and the Communications and Conveyance Committee, amongst others, then it will move through to a vote in the state Assembly.

If you’re a California resident, click here to find out who your state representative is, and get in touch to let them know that you support these bills and want to bring Net Neutrality back to California.

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