Net neutrality law adopted in California State Assembly

California State Assembly adopted a new law with the goal to guarantee net neutrality. California Internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act 2018 forbids the practices of electronic communications providers which include throttling, blocking or other interference with the internet traffic of their users, as well as providing prioritised speed to some apps compared to others. Vote in the state Senate is to come, and after that the law awaits the signature of Governor Jerry Brown.

The importance of this bill is great, particularly since the net neutrality rules of the US Federal Communications Commission were repealed at the end of last year, and because the California law received bipartisan support. The telecom industry invested great lobbying efforts to “water down” the bill through amendments, while California State Senator Scott Wiener alarmed the public about the robocalls used to spread disinformation about the alleged increase of phone bills if the bill gets passed.

Maybe the key moment for support of net neutrality came after complaints from the Santa Clara County fire department, which claimed that Verizon, one of the biggest ISPs in the US, throttled their internet traffic during great fires in California, even though they had an “unlimited” data plan.

SHARE Foundation prepared an educational video on the importance of net neutrality for freedom of expression and other digital rights.