In a bench ruling, Judge John A. Mendez in the Eastern District of California rejected the attempt by a group of broadband providers to prevent California from enforcing its landmark net neutrality law, which grants the state’s residents the strongest net neutrality protections in the nation. California can begin enforcing its law, although the internet service providers have the right to appeal. The Justice Department under the Biden administration had earlier dropped a parallel case filed by the Trump administration.
Public Knowledge joined Access Now, Free Press, Mozilla Corporation, and New America’s Open Technology Institute in filing an amicus brief in this case to support the law.
The following can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Legal Director at Public Knowledge:
“The previous Federal Communications Commission ensured this outcome when it decided it had no authority over broadband. The D.C. Circuit has already made it clear that without the power to regulate, the FCC has no power to prevent states from regulating. Broadband providers nevertheless rushed to court to prevent states from exercising their traditional consumer-protection role. Judge Mendez has rightly rejected their arguments.
“States have an important, ongoing role in broadband consumer protection. However, if internet service providers wish to avoid a ‘patchwork’ of inconsistent net neutrality rules in different states, they can ask the FCC to reassert its Title II authority over broadband, which will enable the agency to enact nationwide rules. We look forward to working with the new FCC to ensure that consumers nationwide have the same protections that California residents now enjoy.”
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