Skip to main content

California Net Neutrality Law Victory Draws Crowd

California Capitol
(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Net neutrality fans inside the Beltway are celebrating a Judge's decision to allow California's net neutrality law to go into effect.

The law passed the California legislature, but enforcement had been delayed until the legal challenges from the Trump Justice Department--the Biden Justice Department withdrew its challenge--and ISPs.

“This is a long-overdue victory for the open internet and California’s right to protect consumers online," said Joshua Stager, senior counsel at New America's Open Technology Institute. "Sacramento legislators passed a net neutrality law in 2018 to ensure that Californians get the internet service they paid for without unreasonable interference from their provider. We look forward to this law finally taking effect to help the millions of Californians who need the open internet to get through ongoing public health, economic, and climate crises. It’s time for the federal government to restore net neutrality for all Americans.”

“With this ruling, we hope the law can finally see the light of day in California and begin protecting consumers online immediately. This ruling is a win for both consumers and the open internet," said Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel for Consumer Reports. "This will hopefully encourage other states to follow California’s lead to explore their own net neutrality laws until the federal government can move forward with a national set of net neutrality rules, either through legislation or regulation.”

"Telecom lobbyists used every dirty trick in the book to try to kill off California’s gold standard net neutrality law," said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future. "And they still lost. That’s because net neutrality is one of the most popular policies of the last century. Now we’re one step closer to net neutrality being the law of the land. The Biden administration should act quickly to appoint a net neutrality champion (with no ties to the telecom industry) to the FCC, and Congress should pay attention to what happened in California, and ensure that any future legislative protections are at least as good as California’s law..."

Also Read: OTI Says DOJ Should Drop California Net Neutrality Law Challenge

Greer said she didn't want "our cable and phone companies controlling what we can see and do on the Internet, or killing off startups to solidify the monopoly power of Big Tech giants."

Interestingly, it is Big Tech edge players like Google and Facebook and Twitter that are currently Congress' biggest focus when it comes to killing off startups and consolidating monopoly power, rather than the ISPs who historically drew those criticisms.