Yesterday, the California State Assembly passed SB 822, a comprehensive Open Internet bill that will grant California residents the strongest net neutrality protections in the nation if it becomes law. The bipartisan bill passed 61-18 and will now return to the Senate before being sent to Governor Jerry Brown to sign or veto. Public Knowledge welcomes the bill and applauds California’s net neutrality activists for urging their state lawmakers to protect consumers over broadband providers.
The following can be attributed to Chris Lewis, Vice President of Public Knowledge:
“Policymakers in Washington must not ignore what the California net neutrality bill means. California is the country’s largest state and the world’s fifth largest economy. Through a bipartisan vote, the California State Assembly joins the U.S. Senate and 86 percent of Americans in supporting strong net neutrality protections. The message is clear: Americans want the internet to remain open and demand strong net neutrality rules to ensure it.
“Americans have been without net neutrality rules since June 11 and without an FCC committed to consumer protection over broadband since 2017. In that time we have seen reports of broadband providers preferring their own content, throttling essential traffic, and securing more merger approvals to strengthen their role as internet gatekeepers.
“While states like California and Washington are doing what they can, all Americans must benefit from an Open Internet. The California legislative fight was not very different from the debate in Washington. Hundreds of cable and telecommunications lobbyists swarmed state legislators and attempted to introduce weaker, inadequate bills. Only through the efforts of grassroots action, consumer advocates, and bold legislators did Californians end up with this strong bill. We need to continue the same fight in Washington.
“It's not too late for the House of Representatives and the President to join the majority of Americans and act to restore the FCC’s 2015 net neutrality rules. All Americans should contact their Congressmen and demand they sign the discharge petition to get a vote on the CRA resolution to restore net neutrality.”
For more information on the state of net neutrality, read our latest blog post, “Not Dead Yet: Why the FCC’s Net Neutrality Repeal Isn’t the End of Net Neutrality.”