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California Assembly Passes Bill Restoring Net Neutrality, Marking a Key Step to Restoring Critical Consumer Protections

SACRAMENTO, CA — Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, today applauded the California Assembly for passing legislation that would reinstate the net neutrality protections repealed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The bill (SB 822), championed by Sen. Scott Weiner, is considered to be the most comprehensive in the nation, including preventing 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, and circumventing net neutrality rules through interconnection practices.

Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union said, “California’s net neutrality legislation restores critical consumer protections that will ensure the internet returns to what we have known it to be for years — an open marketplace where where companies large and small can compete. This bill would set a tremendous precedent, with the power to shape the internet market not just in California, but across the country, for the betterment of consumers. California lawmakers rightly stepped in to fill the void left by the FCC’s net neutrality repeal, sending a strong message to internet providers that net neutrality is here to stay. We applaud the the lawmakers that fought to push this bill forward in the face of tough industry opposition and unexpected challenges.”

The legislation will now return to the Senate for a concurrence vote before reaching the Governor’s desk.

“With the repeal of federal net neutrality rules in full effect, time is of the essence when it comes to passing this legislation. The Senate previously took decisive action in support of net neutrality and now should be no different. We urge the Senate to quickly pass this bill and Governor Brown to swiftly sign it into law,” Schwantes added.