Set to go into effect early next year, California lawmakers have agreed to delay implementing net neutrality as courts look to resolve pending litigation regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) roll back of the federal rules late last year.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai said “I am confident that the FCC’s authority to preempt such state laws will be upheld, along with our proven market-based framework for protecting Internet openness, investment, and innovation nationwide.”
According to The Verge who cover tech policy, the FCC’s 2018 ruling “which rolled back the 2015 Open Internet Order last December, also included a preemption clause that forbid any states from passing their own net neutrality bills into law. However, many experts believe that clause to be unenforceable, which would allow for state-level neutrality measures like the one adopted by California.”
Passed in final week of the legislature and nicknamed the ‘Gold Standard’, Senate Bill 822 “prohibits fixed and mobile Internet service providers.. from engaging in specified actions concerning the treatment of Internet traffic.” Among other things, blocking Lawful content and degrading or purposely throttling internet traffic were also forbidden.
Following the news, author of SB 822 Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) released a statement saying “Of course, I very much want to see California’s net neutrality law go into effect immediately, in order to protect access to the internet. Yet, I also understand and support the Attorney General’s rationale for allowing the DC Circuit appeal to be resolved before we move forward to defend our net neutrality law in court. After the DC Circuit appeal is resolved, the litigation relating to California’s net neutrality law will then move forward.”
The California Globe will continue to monitor any changes in litigation or ruling on the bill.