Gov. Brown Yet to Sign California Net Neutrality Bill

California Gov. Jerry Brown has yet to sign the tough new net neutrality bill that passed the state legislature on Aug. 31.

He has until Sept. 30 to sign or it will not become law.

"Millions of Californians are waiting for Gov. Jerry Brown to affirm their call for a free and open internet," said the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which was circulating a petition encouraging the governor to get out his pen.

Related: Judge: FCC Has to Provide Net Neutrality Comment Docket .CVS Email Addresses

The bill, SB 822, applies no-blocking, throttling or paid prioritization rules for broadband service in the state, and applies those to interconnections as well.

It essentially restores for California the federal net neutrality rules the FCC rolled back last fall, though even the old FCC rules in the 2015 Open Internet Order did not apply the rules to interconnections. 

Cable and telco ISPs had opposed the bill, and point out that the FCC's reg rollback asserts that states are preempted from restoring the rules, an issue that will almost certainly ultimately be decided in court given that other states are also taking steps to restore the FCC bright line rules against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization.

Related: Net Neutrality’s Next Front: States

Asked why the Governor has not yet signed the bill, Evan Greer, executive director of the bill and a network neutrality backer of Fight for the Future did not appear worried.

"My understanding is that it's really common for [a] governor to wait until last minute on the biggest/most talked about bills," said Greer. "Everyone I'm taking to still expects him to sign it," she said. but added, "We're watching closely."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.