Cali’s Net Neutrality Fight Is On
California’s state level Net Neutrality law is now signed, and the Trump administration isn’t happy about it. Almost immediately after Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into the law the DOJ filed a lawsuit to block the regulations from going into effect. As I’ve covered extensively, California’s NN law is the state’s attempt to reassert the regulation that prohibits the throttling of data delivery speeds by ISPs, which the Trump administration and the FCC undid in June. Interestingly, California’s new NN law goes even further than the previous Federal regulation by outlawing so-called zero-rating offers, which allow carriers to exempt certain services from counting against a user’s data cap.
This lawsuit boils down to an issue of Federal vs. State rights. The DOJ and FCC claim the internet is an interstate system that can only be regulated at the Federal level. California says ISP service within its borders is a state-level commerce issue, which it has jurisdiction of. The outcome of this case will be closely watched, since there are about 20 other states lined up to pass similar NN regulations if Cali’s law holds up in court.