In defiance of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) repeal of Net Neutrality, states have been pushing back in various ways.
Oregon and Washington have already passed their own laws to fill the void left by the FCC’s repeal, and California is expected to be next after the state Senate passed a net neutrality bill on Wednesday. According to Gigi Sohn, a fellow at Georgetown Law who’s been tracking the initiatives, 29 states have proposed their own open internet legislation.
This appears to be inviting another major legislative struggle over net neutrality. Additionally, the FCC’s ruling included preempting states from creating their own net neutrality rules, however, five Democratic governors have actually issued executive orders that prohibit the state from doing business with any broadband company that violates the principles of net neutrality.
Per The Hill, the California bill that’s being considered by the state’s assembly was written by Sen. Scott Wiener (D), who says that state legislators now have a responsibility to regulate the industry and preserve an open internet.
“The FCC’s action left a huge void with real-life ramifications in terms of the [internet service providers] being able to pick winners and losers on the internet, which is exactly what net neutrality prohibits,” Wiener said in a phone interview with The Hill.
Senator Wiener’s bill would put in place the restrictions against blocking sites, throttling connection speeds and creating so-called internet fast lanes that were in the 2015 order. But it would also go a step further in banning certain forms of “zero rating,” a practice by which wireless providers let consumers use certain services without it counting against their data limit. The legislator argues that zero rating is used to steer consumers away from smaller competitors.