It happens. After months of back and forth, changing bills, combining them and dragging them apart, California legislator is ready to implement a law that will, at least for around 40 million Americans, restore net protection of neutrality destroyed by the Trump administration in year.
After clearing the state assembly on Thursday, SB 822 was received 23 "ayes" in the Senate, two more than needed to pass. (At the time of writing, the voices had not yet been locked in.) The bill, written by state secretary Scott Wiener in San Francisco, will soon be on the way to Governor Jerry Brown's desk to await his signature or veto.
"We did it," said Wiener. "We passed the strongest network neutrality standards in the nation. The Internet is the heart of 21st century life – our economy, our public security and healthcare and our democracy. So when Donald Trumps FCC decided to take a destructive bullet for network neutrality protection, we knew that California must go in to ensure that our residents have access to a free and open internet. "
" I am incredibly proud of the efforts we have made to protect California everywhere, deserve equality and open to access this modern necessity, "he added.
Governor Brown has not signaled whether he intends to sign the bill but the Senate remains optimistic, said a Democratic Assistant, noting that both US senators from California, Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein had called for passage. The bill is also supported by Justice Secretary Xavier Becerra.
Despite its status as the country's most liberal state, the struggle to restore net neutrality in California was not an easy one. The major broadband vendors who strongly oppose S.B. 822 has enormous power in the golden state. Nevertheless, sway companies like AT & T and Verizon over legislators, ultimately could not compete with the noisy erosion of support from California residents who are also concerned with this problem.
Abundant of calls and e-mail protection from ISPs that can try to block or melt Internet traffic as desired, even legislators were spilled with telecom constraints forced to relocate. Although their voices were not necessary, six republicans said on Thursday, "aye."
"When California works, the world pays attention", Stanford Law School wrote Professor Barbara van Schewick after the poll, adding: "This bill ensures that californians, not the ISPs they pay to get online, can choose which sites and apps they use. "
The outcome of Friday's vote is a major blow to an industry that has spent many years fighting its efforts to fight its sovereignty over the provision of online services. Democrats and Republicans watched the bill's trajectory far away with great interest, many convinced that network neutrality would be a problem remembered in November. Had a coastal bastion of progressivism like California unable to send a comprehensive bill that reflects the Obama-era rules left out in December, many thought that it could not be done anywhere else.
"We hope other states can look at this legislation As a model for the net neutrality standards," Wiener Gizmodo explains.
They will undoubtedly.
Correction: An early version of this story has incorrectly identified California Governor like Scott Brown. His name is Jerry. We apologize for the mistake.
This is an evolving story.