On Monday, the California State Senate approved a bill that would impose net neutrality restrictions on internet service providers doing business in the state.
As Ars Technica reports, the Federal Communications Commission’s new order includes a provision to prevent any state and municipal governments from enacting net neutrality legislation at the local level, but that hasn’t stopped individual states from coming up with ways to circumvent the provision and keep the rules of the open internet in place.
The governors of New York and Montana signed legislation last week that would prevent ISPs from getting state contracts if they do not abide by the rules of net neutrality. There is also a pending lawsuit in which 21 states plus the District of Columbia are attempting to block the FCC’s pre-emption of state laws and reverse the repeal of net neutrality that the commission voted on in December.
California’s S.B. 460, which passed 21-12, would prohibit mobile and home internet providers from “blocking lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices” except in the case of reasonable network management.
The bill would also outlaw throttling and paid prioritization. Further, ISPs would not be able to use deceptive marketing tactics “that misrepresent the treatment of internet traffic or content to its customers.”
Finally, ISPs would not be able to get contracts with state agencies unless they certified under penalty of perjury that they will not participate in any of the activities that the bill bans.
The California bill differs from the executive orders signed in New York and Montana in that it attempts to directly impose legislation on ISPs. The two executive orders simply apply rules as to who can and cannot get state contracts. The California bill operates in direct opposition to the FCC’s pre-emption order.
S.B. 460 now moves on to the State Assembly for action. It is one of two bills making their way through the California Legislature to protect net neutrality.