SACRAMENTO — Some states are pursuing their own net neutrality laws. California became the latest to sail a piece of legislation that would prevent ISPs from charging websites for speedy access.
The Golden State now joins New York, Washington, Montana and New Mexico, which seek their own protections so that providers can’t throttle connections. Meanwhile dozens of attorneys generals have filed a petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, attempting to freeze the FCC’s Open Internet Order, which put a halt to net neutrality regulations.
Eric Paul Leue, the Free Speech Coalition’s executive director, told XBIZ that it’s critical that stakeholders in adult entertainment closely watch how things play out, calling the “battle for the net as one of the most important free speech fights of the 21st century."
"We congratulate California for passing these important protections,” Leue said. “Net neutrality preserves free speech and fosters free thinking. The internet is where we exchange ideas and opinions, where we create and consume entertainment, and where we access education.
“The internet has been a place where marginalized populations can find community and support,” Leue said. “These qualities become even more critical as a handful of large corporations consolidate access to the marketplace."
Under California Senate Bill 460, ISPs would be prohibited from blocking lawful content, throttling or using fast lanes.
After the bill was approved by the Legislature, state Senate President Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, said: “No company should get to decide how you use the internet, no company should have the power to slow down your connection and no company should be able to hold your ideas hostage or demand a ransom to access your favorite streaming service or website.”
State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, said net neutrality is “at the heart of our democracy; we now are forced to step in.”
The measure passed, 21-12, without a Republican yes vote and will be taken up in the Assembly next month.