California Blockchain Bills Would Enable New Understanding, Private-Sector Trial

Posted September 02, 2018

The state's legislature on Friday passed a law that would re-institute net neutrality protections the FCC did away with in December.

California is one of almost three dozen states weighing net neutrality rules after the Federal Communications Commission voted past year to reverse the rules.

California lawmakers voted to give a reprieve to Pacific Gas & Electric Co., and took steps toward reducing years of secrecy surrounding police misconduct on the busy final day of the two-year legislative session.

The legislation, which was the subject of intense lobbying by the broadband industry, would prevent internet providers from blocking, slowing or favoring certain websites. It would reinstate protections that are similar to those that were rescinded nationally by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) previous year. In fact, the state Senate already approved an earlier version of the legislation. Jerry Brown for signature. "This should send a message to other states as well as to members of Congress-Americans are serious about the importance of net neutrality, and are ready and willing to fight for their right to create, communicate, and engage online without giant ISPs serving as gatekeepers".

More news: Rain, landslides, flooding: Hurricane Lane's impact on Hawaii, in photos

The legislation primarily prohibits plans that exempt the same type of content from some companies over others - video streamed on YouTube but not Hulu, for example. "This bill would set a tremendous precedent, with the power to shape the internet market not just in California, but across the country, for the betterment of consumers". "However, the legislation includes extreme provisions rejected by the Obama FCC in 2015 and could threaten the innovation and investment that are the backbone of California's economy". Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman appointed by President Donald Trump, pitched the repeal as a way to stop the federal government from "micromanaging the internet".

After Pai was appointed by President Donald Trump previous year to head the FCC, one of his first acts was a plan to roll back the Obama-era regulations.

It passed the Assembly 46-20 August 28 and first passed the Senate in January. Industry groups are urging Governor Brown to veto the bill.

Without strong rules, say companies such as Eventbrite and Vimeo, internet providers could engage in anticompetitive behavior that harms smaller online companies, reducing consumer choices.

More news: Coca-Cola to buy Costa Coffee for £3.9bn

Internet service providers say that zero-rating provides value to their customers and should be allowed.

Wiener said he hopes California's potential new rules could be emulated on a national level.

Some are opposed to the new California bill. They call it a bailout of Pacific Gas & Electric company.

More news: Watch the livestream of Aretha Franklin's funeral celebration