California state senator to propose statewide net neutrality laws

California state senator to propose statewide net neutrality laws
© Greg Nash

A California state senator proposed state-wide net neutrality law on Thursday in the wake of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) decision to repeal net neutrality rules. 

"If the FCC won’t stand up for a free and open internet, California will," State Sen. Scott Wiener (D) wrote in a piece on Medium. 

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"My legislation will bring net neutrality requirements to California. There are several ways we can bring net neutrality to California," he said. "California can regulate business practices to require net neutrality, condition state contracts on adhering to net neutrality, and require net neutrality as part of cable franchise agreements, as a condition to using the public right-of-way for internet infrastructure, and in broadband packages."

Wiener said that he would work over the next 60 days to draft the legislation before formally introducing it. 

The senator said he was working with organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. 

The proposed legislation comes after the FCC voted along party lines to repeal its 2015 Open Internet Order on Thursday. 

Supporters of the decision made by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai would require internet service providers to be transparent in how they treat web traffic and say that those companies will be subject to tougher disclosure requirements than any faced by internet giants. 

However, its opponents say the decision will make it easier for companies like Comcast and Verizon to abuse their powers as internet gatekeepers.