‘Gold Standard’ State Net Neutrality Bill Approved By California Assembly

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: California’s state Assembly yesterday approved a strict net neutrality bill despite opposition from the telecom industry. California’s Senate already approved an earlier version of the bill in May. But some minor changes were made in the Assembly, so the Senate must vote on the bill again today before going into recess. If the Senate approves, California Governor Jerry Brown would have until September 30 to sign the bill into law. The bill would prohibit Internet service providers from blocking or throttling lawful traffic, and from requiring fees from websites or online services to deliver or prioritize their traffic to consumers. The bill also imposes limits on data cap exemptions (so-called “zero-rating”) and says that ISPs may not attempt to evade net neutrality protections by slowing down traffic at network interconnection points. Yesterday’s Assembly vote was 61-18. All 55 Democratic members of the Assembly and six Republicans voted for the bill. All 18 votes against it came from Republicans. “ISPs have tried hard to gut and kill this bill, pouring money and robocalls into California,” Electronic Frontier Foundation Policy Analyst Katharine Trendacosta said. “California could pass a gold standard net neutrality bill, providing a template for states going forward. California can prove that ISP money can’t defeat real people’s voices.”

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