On May 30th of this year, the California Senate approved Senate Bill 822, a bill that aimed to reinstate the net neutrality regulations repealed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last December. Today, June 20, 2018; the California net neutrality bill was gutted in the Assembly committee meeting.
The California net neutrality bill that advocates hailed as the “gold standard” for Internet protections, was “eviscerated,” its chief backer, Sen. Scott Weiner said, in a committee hearing Wednesday morning.
The Senate Bill would have barred ISPs from blocking, throttling or engaging in paid prioritization. SB822 would have also prevented ISPs that don’t abide the prohibitions in the bill from contracting with California state and local governments.
However, in an 8-0 vote, the state Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee adopted amendments to SB822, which removed the provisions that would have given the state the strongest prohibitions against discriminatory treatment of Internet traffic in the country.
Among its recommendations were to allow a debated ISP practice called “zero rating,” where some websites and apps don’t count against a consumer’s data allowance. Opponents view zero rating as a backdoor way of discriminating against online services that don’t sign on with free-data deals with broadband and wireless companies.
Race Communications was in full support of the bill and is saddened by the outcome of today’s committee meeting. Our company will continue to maintain a pro net-neutrality policy and hopes that our peers will continue to do the same.