Countering FCC, Calif. Lawmakers Pass Net Neutrality Law

Under new law, bars in LA, Oakland and other Californian cities could serve alcohol until 4 AM

But it also goes further by snuffing paid interconnection deals and putting the kibosh on so-called "zero-rating" policies that exempt some traffic from data caps and other usage-based data policies.

Lindsay Chestnut of Baltimore holds a sign that reads "I like My Internet Like I Like my Country Free & Open" as she protests near the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in Washington, Dec. 14, 2017, where the FCC is scheduled to meet and vote on net neutrality.

The Democrat-controlled California Senate voted 27-12 to pass the bill, known as SB 822, with just hours left in the legislative session. The state Assembly approved a version Thursday.

Federal net neutrality rules have been challenged in lawsuits several times over the past decade and the issue could eventually wind up before the Supreme Court.

Brown has not said whether he will sign the legislation. Thirty states have introduced Bills to ensure net neutrality.

Senate Bill 822 reinstates the same regulations.

Supporters of the legislation believe that if the California bill becomes law, other states may follow suit and pass their own net neutrality bills.

"It is a really overdue bill", said Sen.

"This is basic consumer protections, protecting small and midsize businesses, protecting activists and labor unions and anyone else who uses the internet", said Democratic state Sen.

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"Without a doubt the cost of our changing climate will be a shared one", said Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael. In June, the state adopted an internet privacy law, the first in the nation. The new measure is headed for the governor, Jerry Brown's, desk. Allowing corporations to utilize a more secure technology will increase consumer protection and help prevent cases of fraud.

They were joined in that action a week later by a coalition of trade groups representing companies including Alphabet Inc, Facebook Inc and Amazon.com Inc.

Critics say California would be foolish to give up the unique control it has over its grid operator, especially when President Donald Trump is looking to expand opportunities for coal plants and California is looking to shed coal from the grid.

After passing in the Assembly on Wednesday, SB-826 breezed easily through the Senate yesterday.

The measure is scheduled for votes in the Senate and Assembly Friday night following months of contentious negotiations.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group that supports online privacy, called it "a victory that can be replicated". Broadband-industry-backed groups such as CALinnovates and the Congress of California Seniors argued against it.

Lawmakers said internet service providers had already indicated to them that they would sue to overturn a net neutrality law. "This historic Assembly vote is a testament to the power of the internet".

Eshoo mentioned, as a reason new rules are needed, Verizon's recent throttling of internet data for Santa Clara County firefighters as they fought the Mendocino Complex fire, the largest in California history.

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