More than 2 years later, California net neutrality law finally clear to be enforced

In August of 2018, California approved the net neutrality law known as the toughest one in the USA. However, only after two and a half years, the law is finally clear to be enforced. This delay is due to a lawsuit filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of California by CTIA (representing wireless and mobile communications industry), NCTA (the principal trade association for the US broadband and pay television industries), USTelecom (representing broadband and telecom industry), and the American Cable Association (which represents small and mid-size cable companies). Together, these groups represent hundreds of smaller Internet Service Providers (ISPs), all the biggest mobile and home Internet providers in the US, such as AT&T and Verizon.

During the legal procedures, the state agreed not to enforce the law. Now the final decision was taken by the District Court judge and the net neutrality is close to be assured in California. California’s net neutrality law (SB-822) was approved after the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Restoring Internet Freedom Order took effect on 11 June 2018, repealing the 2015 net neutrality order. California’s law prohibits blocking, speeding up and slowing down websites or whole classes of applications. The bill goes one step forward prohibiting ISPs from violating net neutrality by not counting the content and websites they own against subscribers’ data caps, which is considered as anti-competitive “zero-rating” practice. The law further bans ISPs from requiring fees from websites and online services in order to prioritize their traffic.

The lobbying groups still have the option of filing an appeal in the District Court decision, but they will review the Court’s opinion before taking subsequent steps.

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