California’s Net Neutrality Bill Advances and is Close to Final Passage

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Yesterday, Senator Scott Wiener announced California’s Net Neutrality bills made crucial advancements.

SB 822 prohibits blocking websites, speeding up or slowing down websites or whole classes of applications such as video. ISPs will also be prohibited from circumventing these protections at the point where data enters their networks and from charging access fees to reach ISP customers. SB 822 will also ban ISPs from violating net neutrality by not counting the content and websites they own against subscribers’ data caps. This kind of abusive and anti-competitive “zero rating,” which leads to lower data caps for everyone, would be prohibited, while “zero-rating” plans that don’t harm consumers are not banned.
SB 460 focuses on requiring ISPs that enter into state contracts to adhere to net neutrality principles. This provision ensures that public entities only expend taxpayer funds on contracts with ISPs that comply with California’s comprehensive net neutrality protections.

This is absolutely great news. Originally SB822 had been gutted quite a bit to appease ISPs. Those changes have more or less been reversed.

If you’re so inclined, you can read the full texts and changes of SB822 and SB460.

Also checkout Ars Technica’s coverage on this topic.