Published: Mon, October 01, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

California net neutrality bill signed by Jerry Brown

California net neutrality bill signed by Jerry Brown

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said today, "Once again the California Legislature has enacted an extreme and illegal state law attempting to frustrate federal policy".

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said on Sunday the Trump Administration was ignoring "millions of Americans who voiced strong support for net neutrality rules" while California, which is "home to countless start-ups, tech giants and almost 40 million consumers - will not allow a handful of power brokers to dictate sources for information or the speed at which websites load".

Advocates of net neutrality hope California's law will push Congress to enact national rules or encourage other states to create their own.

The Trump administration filed a lawsuit against the state of California on Sunday night in an effort to strike down its new net neutrality law, signed only hours earlier by Democratic Gov.

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Telecommunications companies lobbied hard to kill off the new California law or water it down, saying it would lead to higher internet and cellphone bills and discourage investments in faster internet.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday restored net neutrality rules in California that were repealed under the Trump administration, setting up a legal battle with the federal government over whether states can prevent companies from blocking access to the internet.

The department filed a lawsuit against the state, alleging the new piece of legislation is "unlawful and anti-consumer". The law also prohibits carriers from demanding special new fees from websites, and it bars Internet providers from selectively exempting their preferred apps from customer data caps. Scott Wiener, the law's author.

Wiener said in a statement that Brown's signature marks "a historic day for California" and a "true win for the internet and for an open society".

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"Sessions and his boss Donald Trump aren't satisfied with the federal government repealing net neutrality". Finally, the bill also makes sure that Californians are protected from mega-corporations like the newly minted AT&T-TimeWarner who want to push their content and services on subscribers, while harming all other speakers and companies on the internet.

"The fundamental issue here is that the Internet and Internet access is interstate commerce", said Jonathan Spalter, president of USTelecom, an industry trade group.

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"An agency that has no power to regulate has no power to preempt the states", she said. "We are confident that we will prevail in this case -because the facts are on our side".

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A number of other U.S. states would also like to implement their own rules to protect net neutrality, although the FCC's decision clearly forbids such moves.

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