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. Most state-level bills have just copied the text of the FCC's 2015 net neutrality rules, leaving out critical protections.
California's law prevents Internet providers from blocking, slowing or favoring particular websites; bans providers from collecting new fees as a mechanism to reach Internet users; and bans "zero rating", where providers exempt apps (usually their own) from monthly data caps if such a move could hurt competitors in "abusive" ways.
In what comes as a major blow to opponents of net neutrality, the state of California has succeeded in passing a bill that would effectively protect a free and open internet, joining four states including Washington and OR in doing so. (A number of European countries have adopted similar measures.) Now the bill goes back to the Senate that already approved an earlier version, and then to Governor Jerry Brown. Thirty states have introduced Bills to ensure net neutrality. It would have denied public contracts to companies that fail to follow the new state internet rules, but it sunk amid opposition over last-minute amendments. "The Trump administration destroyed the internet as we know it".
The FCC did not reply to a request for comment. Such orders, largely pioneered by the state, have been derided as "turn in your neighbor" laws as they allow for temporary gun seizures with the accused only able to appear in court after the fact in many cases.
"ISPs have tried hard to gut and kill this bill, pouring money and robocalls into California", said Katharine Trendacosta, policy analyst for Electronic Frontier Foundation, in a letter to supporters after the Assembly vote.
RBI annual report: 99.3% of demonetised currency returned to banking system
Chidambaram said every rupee of the Rs 15.42 lakh crore, barring a small sum of Rs 13,000 crore, has come back to the RBI. The government, while announcing demonetisation, had also cited checking counterfeit notes as one of the reasons.
Some legal experts say the FCC did not have the authority to prohibit state net neutrality laws.
The California Bill is the most significant victory for supporters of net neutrality rules since the FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, scrapped federal regulations past year.
California similarly took the regulatory lead in passing a sweeping online privacy law in June - something the federal government has not been able to do.
Jonathan Spalter, president/CEO of the broadband industry group USTelecom, said in a statement that consumers want a "single, national approach to keeping our internet open", instead of a "confusing patchwork of conflicting requirements".
The legislation has been championed by consumer advocacy groups, small businesses, and some technology companies including Sonos, Etsy and Reddit, but criticized by the telecom industry. Many fear the "cabelisation of the internet" that would occur under the absence of net neutrality.