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Judge Moves California Net Neutrality Law Hearing

California Capitol
(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The Judge hearing the Department of Justice's challenge to California's net neutrality law has rescheduled a Jan. 26 hearing, citing the caseload of the court and the complexity of the issue.

Also Read: House Dems Press Biden AG Nominee to Drop Suit

The new date is Feb. 23, which will give the new Biden Justice Department, which takes over after the Jan. 20 inauguration, a chance to decide whether it wants to continue the challenge. 

The court made it clear it wanted an answer to that pressing question. "The Court orders the parties to meet and confer (after January 20, 2021) and to file a status conference statement by February 9, 2021, informing the Court whether the United States of America intends to pursue this case further, or whether, upon review by the Biden Administration, it will file a stipulation or motion to dismiss this lawsuit. 

Also Read: California Committee Approves Tough New Net Neutrality Bill

The law was passed after the FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom (RIF) order scrapped its net neutrality rules banning blocking, throttling and paid prioritization. The FCC's RIF deregulation of internet access included a preemption of state regs that conflicted with that decision. But in 2018, California passed its own tough net neutrality rules anyway to fill what it saw as a regulatory void.

The FCC, backed by Justice, filed suit, as did ISPs.

The law's implementation was stayed pending resolution of those legal challenges.

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.