California lawmakers pass stiffest net neutrality law in US

Anna Moneymaker

California lawmakers passed the toughest net neutrality law in the country on Friday, a move that would guarantee full and equal access to the internet. 

The Washington Post reported that the vote from California lawmakers could set up a fight with federal regulators who moved last year to repeal net neutrality. 

{mosads}The legislation, if signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown (D), would preclude internet providers from blocking, slowing or favoring certain websites, the Post reported.

In addition, it would prohibit internet providers from collecting fees from apps and sites in order for them to reach users. 

The Post notes that the bill’s goal is to make California the leader of the increasing backlash from states toward the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The state’s Senate received enough votes for the measure just a day after the state Assembly approved it. 

The legislation will now proceed to the governor’s desk for a signature in the coming weeks.

“When Donald Trump’s FCC decided to take a wrecking ball to net neutrality protections, we knew that California had to step in to ensure our residents have access to a free and open internet,” state Sen. Scott Wiener (D), one of the bill’s authors, said in a statement reported by The New York Times.

The Times noted that California would be the fourth state to create a net neutrality law since its federal repeal in December 2017. The newspaper added that broadband providers will likely sue the state if the proposed legislation becomes law. 

Democratic lawmakers and tech companies have vehemently criticized the Trump administration for its repeal of net neutrality. Many have argued that the rules put in place by the Obama administration are crucial for preventing companies like Comcast or Verizon from abusing their role on the internet. 

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