California Passes Strongest Net Neutrality Law in the Country

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Demonstrators rally outside the Federal Communication Commission building to protest against the end of net neutrality rules on December 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Lead by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the commission did away with Obama Administration rules that prevented internet service providers from creating different levels of service and blocking or promoting individual companies and organizations on their systems. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Reprinted from The Verge by Jacob Kastrenakes on August 31, 2018.

California’s legislature has approved a bill being called the strongest net neutrality law in the US. The bill would ban internet providers from blocking and throttling legal content and prioritizing some sites and services over others. It would apply these restrictions to both home and mobile connections.

That would essentially restore the net neutrality rules enacted federally under former President Barack Obama, which were later repealed by the Federal Communications Commission under the watch and guidance of current chairman Ajit Pai. But this bill actually goes further than those rules with an outright ban on zero-rating — the practice of offering free data, potentially to the advantage of some companies over others — of specific apps. Zero-rating would, however, still be allowed as long as the free data applies to an entire category of apps. So an ISP could offer free data for all video streaming apps, but not just for Netflix. …

The Verge 8/31

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at

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