California Senate Ignores FCC, Passes Net Neutrality Law

David Monniaux/Wikimedia Commons

The California State Senate passed a net-neutrality law that enshrines internet protections for its residents.

The California State Senate defied the Federal Communications Commission on Monday, passing a law that enshrines net neutrality protections for its residents and businesses. When it passed the new rules, the FCC included a measure to preempt state's from creating laws to get around the decision, but several states are considering or have passed legislation preserving the protections.

The FCC is already being sued by 21 states and the District of Columbia, which are trying to reverse the net neutrality repeal and the preemption of state laws. Attempts to enforce net neutrality rules at the state or local level could end up being challenged in separate lawsuits.

But California is charging forward regardless. The bill brought by Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) passed in a party-line 21-12 vote in the Senate and now heads to the Democrat-controlled Assembly.

The bill would prohibit home and mobile Internet providers from "Blocking lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices," except in cases of reasonable network management.

Throttling would also be outlawed, along with "paid prioritization, or providing preferential treatment of some Internet traffic to any Internet customer." More generally, the bill prohibits ISPs from interfering with "a customer's ability to select, access, and use broadband Internet access service or lawful Internet content, applications, services, or devices of the customer's choice, or an edge provider's ability to make lawful content, applications, services, or devices available to a customer."

In addition, ISPs would be barred from employing misleading marketing practices "that misrepresent the treatment of Internet traffic or content to its customers."