by Kyle Perisic
Democrats in the California State Senate passed net neutrality regulations on Wednesday that are stricter than the Obama-era ones they replaced.
The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Obama-era rule implemented in 2015 placed a ban on blocking, throttling and paid prioritization of content on the internet, but it was repealed in December 2017.
The net neutrality legislation in California is a duplicate of the FCC’s previous regulation and goes a step further by banning paid data-cap exemptions.
Proponents of net neutrality often argue that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate between data and that net neutrality helps perpetuate free speech on the internet.
Opponents of net neutrality often agree with the premise of net neutrality, but say that declaring the internet a public utility, like water, would prevent innovation.
Conversely, heavily trafficked websites have come under fire recently for restricting free speech, not ISPs. YouTube blocks videos, Facebook censors conservatives and Amazon hurts conservative websites from earning an income.
The next steps to pass the net neutrality legislation are to get past the Democrat-controlled State Assembly and get signed into law by the Democratic governor.
Although Democrats in California are more likely to support net neutrality rules, a net neutrality bill passed in the State Senate didn’t make it through the State Assembly beyond Jan. 30.
This net neutrality bill passed the California State Senate with 23 senators voting in favor and 12 against, which was divided exactly on partisan lines.
Senate Democrats in Washington voted 52–47 — also almost exactly divide on partisan lines — to overrule the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality on May 16, but that is unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled House, or get President Donald Trump’s signature.
The FCC’s net neutrality repeal goes into effect June 11.
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