This lawmaker wants to revive net neutrality in California

California State Senator Scott Wiener
Image: flickr user One laptop per child

The Federal Communications Commission repealed net neutrality in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, which prohibited powerful telecoms from charging more for faster internet access. 

But 3,000 miles away, in California, State Senator Scott Wiener announced plans to buck the FCC’s decision by introducing California’s own net neutrality rules. In a Medium post, Wiener said he will spend the next 60 days considering the best regulatory options and then introduce a law early next year. 

Like the FCC’s two dissenting commissioners, protesters in every corner of the nation, rock stars, Pornhub, and legendary internet pioneers, Wiener believes net neutrality is essential for maintaining an open internet where internet service providers “treat websites equally” and don’t “play favorites based on who pays more.”

With the repeal of these rules, corporations can effectively choose our content — or make internet users (i.e. everyone) pay more for access to certain sites, Wiener wrote:

By repealing net neutrality requirements, the Trump-controlled FCC is allowing internet service providers to decide which websites will be easily accessible and which won’t. Providers are now free to manipulate web traffic on their networks, which means they can speed or slow traffic to certain sites and even block access.

Wiener offered some broad ideas about how to establish net neutrality in California. He suggests, for instance, requiring cable companies to accept net neutrality laws as part of their agreement for doing business in California (which, as one of the biggest economies in the world, would likely force them to accept net neutrality laws).  

Wiener is not the only one who wants to reinstate net neutrality. Following the repeal, the New York attorney general announced that he will sue the FCC to stop the dismantling of net neutrality laws:

It seems Ajit Pai, the FCC Commissioner who led the charge to repeal net neutrality, will have quite a battle from a number of motivated opponents. As Wiener stated at the end of his post, “If the FCC won’t stand up for a free and open internet, California will.”

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