FCC Chairman Calls California's Net Neutrality Laws 'Illegal'
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai pulled no punches when remarking on the state of California's recently-passed net neutrality rules. Speaking at the Maine Heritage Policy Center, Pai heaped criticism on the state's legislature. Last month, California passed laws that will require companies that supply internet services to refrain from throttling traffic, blocking content or offering pair prioritization — similar to the laws the FCC enacted in 2015. Pai called the bill "radical, anti-consumer" and "burdensome." Pai went on to suggest that the law will prevent people on California from taking advantage of free-data plans, which let people stream content without incurring data fees. "Nanny-state California legislators apparently want to ban their constituents from having this choice," said Pai. Pai believes California's move is a threat to the rest of the country. The internet is an interstate service and state boundaries are not recognized as information moves around. Due to the interstate nature of the internet, Pai believes only federal law can regulate it. "This is why efforts like California’s are illegal," he noted. California Governor Jerry Brown has yet to sign the legislation. Pai implied that the FCC will take action against California should the bill become law. Pai's Republican-led FCC stripped away net neutrality regulations in December 2017 and the change went into effect in June. Pai expects the industry to police itself with transparency, and pushed the responsibility of enforcement action over to the FTC.
Oct 1, 2018
California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation on Sunday that made net neutrality the law, but the state was quickly sued by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Sep 1, 2018
Lawmakers in California have sent a new net neutrality bill to Governor Jerry Brown in the hopes of restoring regulations. The bill was approved by the California Assembly 58-17 and later the Senate 27-12.
Oct 3, 2018
Four major internet company lobbying organizations have filed a lawsuit against California seeking to block the state's new net neutrality law. California recently signed into law strict rules governing internet providers to prevent throttling, blocking, and paid prioritization.
Nov 14, 2018
Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, wants Congress to prevent states from enacting their own net neutrality and privacy laws. "There are a number of states that are now passing their own legislation around privacy and, by the way, net neutrality."
Oct 26, 2018
California today said it has agreed not to enforce its own net neutrality law until a final decision is reached concerning the FCC's scrapping of Obama-era regulations. In December 2017, the FCC voted to get rid of the previous administration's net neutrality rules, which classified broadband as a utility under Title II and set bright line rules regarding internet traffic.