Groups representing internet providers sue California over net neutrality

Groups representing internet providers sue California over net neutrality

Washington State passed a net neutrality law of its own in February and California soon began drafting up its own net neutrality law and even negotiated with industry players to soften the blow.

As expected, the broadband industry filed suit against the state of California today over the state's shiny new net neutrality law.

Californian Governor Jerry Brown passed the strictest net neutrality law in the country on Sunday evening. Their lawsuit comes two days after the Department of Justice filed a similar action.

ISPs say the California law impermissibly regulates interstate commerce.

As we previously reported, the California legislature approved one of the nation's toughest net neutrality laws - California Internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act of 2018, also known as SB 822.

A lot is riding on the outcome.

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"Not only is California's internet regulation law illegal, it also hurts consumers".

"If that second argument is right, it calls into question every state law that regulates the Internet", said Jonathan Mayer, a former chief technologist in the FCC's enforcement bureau. Though the FCC would come back with a counter to block their efforts once again, stated Lyons.

But Trump-appointed attorney general Jeff Sessions claimed in a statement on Sunday that the move in California was "an extreme and illegal state law attempting to frustrate federal policy". The law restored old net neutrality rules the FCC abolished, which forbid Internet providers from blocking legal websites, intentionally slowing down Internet traffic or demanding fees for faster service.

California's law obliges internet service providers (ISPs) to offer all types of content at the same speed and price and forbids so-called zero rating, which is when a content provider pays the ISP for free delivery to customers. "These theories do not appear to satisfy the test for a preliminary injunction". There are four groups that are representing these ISPs, and have filed suite on Wednesday saying that this new law is "complex, burdensome and harmful to innovation". "We oppose California's action to regulate internet access because it threatens to negatively affect services for millions of consumers and harm new investment and economic growth".

The lawsuit was filed by the American Cable Association; CTIA - The Wireless Association; NCTA - The Internet & Television Association; and USTelecom - The Broadband Association. "Meanwhile, we will continue our work to ensure Congress adopts bipartisan legislation to create a permanent framework for protecting the open Internet that consumers expect and deserve".

The cooperative lawsuits between the Trump DOJ and numerous ISP lobbying organizations gives you a pretty solid understanding of how anxious the industry is about California's new law, which largely just reflects the 2015 FCC rules industry spent millions of dollars to repeal.

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