Governor Brown Signs Law Restoring Net Neutrality

Experts

Senior Policy Counsel
Associate Director, Strategic Communications

Sunday, September 30, 2018

SACRAMENTO, CA — California Governor Jerry Brown today signed SB 822 into law, restoring critical net neutrality protections that were repealed by the Federal Communications Commission last year.  The law, championed by state Sen. Scott Weiner, is considered to be the most comprehensive in the nation and will prevent internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking, slowing down or speeding up websites, apps, and classes of apps, charging websites for access to the ISPs’ customers or for prioritized access to those customers, circumventing net neutrality rules through interconnection practices, and engaging in abusive zero-rating practices that ultimately limit consumer choice and competition

Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, a strong supporter of the law, lauded the new law and applauded Governor Brown and the California legislature for its leadership.

Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union said, “Today marks a huge victory, not only for Californians but for the future of the internet. California’s net neutrality law will ensure that competition and the free market — not backroom agreements by internet providers — determine success on the internet, with all voices having equal chance to be heard online. And despite FCC Chairman Pai’s claims, this law will ensure that the internet as we’ve known it for years can continue to flourish as a level playing field.”

The law will go into effect January 1, 2019.

Schwantes added,“When the FCC chose to ignore the millions of consumers who urged them not to repeal net neutrality protections last year, it left a void that state lawmakers are now rightly filling. Thanks to its market power and influence as the country’s largest state, California’s law sends a strong message to internet service providers and has the potential to shape the market across the country. We applaud Governor Brown’s action today and Senator Weiner’s continued leadership as this bill faced well-funded industry opposition. We hope that other states follow suit to protect consumers and preserve the internet as an open marketplace for all.”