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California to enforce net neutrality after judge rejects challenge by internet providers

TechnologyFeb 24, 2021 05:45AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. A supporter of Net Neutrality protests the FCC's recent decision to repeal the program in Los Angeles 2/2

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - California should soon implement its landmark net neutrality law under a judge's ruling on Tuesday, nearly three years after the state legislature enacted the measure, the state attorney general's office said.

U.S. Judge John Mendez for the Eastern District of California said in an oral ruling he would not block the law from taking effect as four telecom and broadband industry groups sought, his office confirmed. California's 2018 law barred internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic, or offering paid fast lanes.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra applauded the decision. "The ability of an internet service provider to block, slow down or speed up content based on a user’s ability to pay for service degrades the very idea of a competitive marketplace and the open transfer of information at the core of our increasingly digital and connected world," he said.

The four industry groups that sued said in a joint statement they would decide on next steps. "A state-by-state approach to Internet regulation will confuse consumers and deter network investment, just as the importance of broadband for all has never been more apparent," the groups said.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, adopted net neutrality rules in 2015. These were overturned in 2017 by the FCC under President Donald Trump, a Republican. California's legislature responded by adopting a state law requiring net neutrality in August 2018.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Justice Department withdrew its Trump-era legal challenge to the California law after President Joe Biden, a Democrat, took office.

Supporters of net neutrality argue that the protections ensure a free and open internet. Broadband and telecoms trade groups contend their legal basis from the pre-internet era was outdated and that they would discourage investment.

California had agreed not to enforce the law while legal proceedings were ongoing.

California to enforce net neutrality after judge rejects challenge by internet providers
 

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Comments (3)
Prakash J Chaudhari
Prakash J Chaudhari Feb 24, 2021 1:38AM ET
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One step forward to socialism
Blake Brown
Blake Brown Feb 24, 2021 1:38AM ET
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Stop crying about 'socialism' because you see 'California' in the article. You're not even American..... This is about the freedom of the internet, where service providers cannot make it so, for example, YouTube videos load @ 100Mb / sec. but vids hosted on Facebook only load at 5Mb / second. This is a simple explanation to help you get the idea - because it's clear, with your immediate reaction to seeing 'California' and crying about socialism, that you don't even know you're whining in favor of these corporations screwing over all of their users so they can control how you use the internet or make it cost way more.  This is a possible real example - Verizon owns major media networks and is also an internet provider. Same with Comcast. They could make it so their own websites - plus other websites that pay them a fee - get good connection speeds while the rest of the internet is slow.  All of this is all because the internet isn't a utility, yet, like it should be.
David David
David9 Feb 24, 2021 1:38AM ET
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Socialism does not mean bad.... explained to us if you know what Socialism means...
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Feb 24, 2021 1:13AM ET
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Meaning slow internet and cost more for all. Internet is like electricity, if ur neighbor is watching to much cat movies, he should pay more. Why all have to pay more? This is another ‘Obama care’. All must pay more for a few.
Blake Brown
Blake Brown Feb 24, 2021 1:13AM ET
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You're not even American so why are you talking like this?  You don't even have a ****clue what net neutrality is...but you see 'California' and just start doing your best Trump impression, where you make a bunch of random, totally false claims that are not remotely tied to net neutrality HERE IS WHAT NET NEUTRALITY IS & WHAT THIS COURT WIN DID: "Network neutrality, most commonly called net neutrality, is the principle that Internet service providers (ISPs) must treat all Internet communications equally, and not discriminate or charge differently based on user, content, website, platform, application, type of equipment, source address, destination address, or method of communication.[4][5] With net neutrality, ISPs may not intentionally block, slow down, or charge money for specific online content. Without net neutrality, ISPs may prioritize certain types of traffic, meter others, or potentially block traffic from specific services, while charging consumers for various tiers of service"
Darryl Allen
Darryl Allen Feb 23, 2021 11:19PM ET
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Dems just want to control what you can and cannot see online. It's always about power and control.
Blake Brown
Blake Brown Feb 23, 2021 11:19PM ET
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You realize you're just seeing 'California' and immediately deciding it's bad because you've been guided into just making EVERYTHING some type of 'left vs. right' **** even when it's nothing political? This is about stopping internet service providers - companies that ALSO own TV networks and major media properties on the internet - from throttling / blocking your internet connection whenever they want. THIS IS WHAT NET NEUTRALITY IS: Net neutrality is the principle that Internet providers must treat all Internet communications equally & not discriminate / charge differently based on user, content, website, platform, application, equipment type, source address, destination address, or communication method With net neutrality, ISPs cant intentionally block, slow, or charge $ for specific online content. Without net neutrality, ISPs may prioritize certain types of traffic, meter others, or potentially block traffic from specific services while charging consumers for various tiers of service
Blake Brown
Blake Brown Feb 23, 2021 11:19PM ET
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They are literally doing the EXACT OPPOSITE of what you just said - this court ruling keeps California's law in place so that the internet service provider has to treat all internet traffic equally and not prioritize connections to some services / websites, etc. over others...so that you are free to do whatever you want online and not be charged more or slowed down or blocked, etc. when trying to go to some sites but being sped up, etc. when trying to view other content.  Instead of automatically going into your 'Democrats are evil' routine, you should take 10 seconds to google 'net neutrality' so you can find something like the two Wikipedia article paragraphs I copied and pasted into my comment above...because, like I said...what they've done is literally the exact opposite of what you're saying they've done. Do you see why looking things up quickly is important? CA is very big on consumer protections from big business, like you see here. Plz dont automatically go to 'Dems bad'.
 
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