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California's net neutrality bill is a step closer to becoming law

SB 822 would tightly regulate ISPs operating in the state.
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Supporters of Net Neutrality protest the FCC's recent decision to repeal the program in Los Angeles, California, November 28, 2017. Kyle Grillot / Reuters

Now that the FCC has undone net neutrality protections implemented under the Obama Administration, one response has been to implement tight regulation at the state level. Tonight in California's State Assembly lawmakers passed SB 822 by a vote of 61 - 18, sending it back to the state Senate complete with amendments to bolster some of the protections that keep internet providers from establishing fast/slow lanes or zero-rating certain content.

The Senate already passed an earlier version of the bill missing those amendments, and the Mercury News reports that body is expected to pass this one again on Friday, sending it to the desk of governor Jerry Brown.

The CTIA, which represents wireless companies including Engadget parent company Verizon, and the California Cable & Telecommunications Association (CCTA) which represents ISPs including Comcast, Charter and Cox released a joint statement claiming "this legislation contains extreme provisions rejected by the Obama FCC in 2015." Their stance is that national legislation is what is needed, but the statement did not specify what that should include.

So far, the US Congress has been unable to pass new legislation addressing net neutrality, and supporters of the bill hope this will push more states to implement similar rules.

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