California’s net neutrality bill is moving ahead despite industry objections
In California, the USA, a strict net neutrality bill is closed to becoming law, as the Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee in the state Senate approved it, despite objections from telecom providers. The bill replicates basic net neutrality rules that were included in the 2015 order of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), on blocking, throttling, and paid prioritisation. But it also goes one step forward with a ban on paid zero-rating arrangements in which Internet access providers charge online services for data cap exemptions. The bill is opposed by telecom companies such as AT&T, whose vice-president Bill Devine argued that specific net neutrality rules are not necessary, as the providers; commitments not to block, censor, or degrade Internet traffic are ‘enforceable by the federal government and the California attorney general’. To become a law, the bill has to be approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and then be subject to vote in the full Senate. It would then pass to the State Assembly for review and approval, and, finally, to Governor Jerry Brown.