Jerry Brown net neutrality law sparks lawsuit from feds

Eileen GuzmanOct 02, 2018

The Trump administration repealed the Obama era rules on net neutrality in December 2017.

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. In a court filing for an injunction, the Justice Department said that companies "cannot realistically comply with one set of standards in this area for California and another for the rest of the nation - especially when Internet communications frequently cross multiple jurisdictions". It prevents internet services from slowing their speeds, charging extra fees for major websites, and preventing access to certain websites. California is now set to wage a legal battle against the federal regulator that will decide the outcome of state-level net neutrality in the entire country. "Rather than 50 states stepping in with their own conflicting open internet solutions, we need Congress to step up with a national framework for the whole internet ecosystem and resolve this issue once and for all".

In a matter of hours after this regulation was passed, senior officials from the Justice Department reacted by stating that they intend to take California to court, citing the federal government's apparently exclusive right to regulate net-neutrality laws. The Department of Justice on Sunday night sued California over its new new neutrality law.

The Justice Department nearly immediately filed its lawsuit, arguing Senate Bill 822 interferes with the federal government's deregulatory approach to the internet, according to a statement.

The new California law is sweeping in its scope. In light of the FCC's more recent deregulatory order, federal officials are asking for California's net neutrality law to be invalidated, and industry groups are expected to join the effort.

A number of other USA states would also like to implement their own rules to protect net neutrality, although the FCC's decision clearly forbids such moves. California's law also adds something that the original net neutrality rules didn't have; it prevents content streamers from paying to have its music or video streamed with a zero-rating.

The bill, SB 826, was authored by state senator Hannah-Beth Jackson who noted that research shows that women tend to be more collaborative and better multitaskers. "We are confident that we will prevail in this case -because the facts are on our side".

"Access to reproductive health services, including abortion, is a long-protected right in California", he noted in his veto message. California fought Trump and Sessions on their immigration lawsuit. When all is said and done, Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T are going to wish they'd never picked a fight with Internet over net neutrality.

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