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California state senate passes net neutrality bill


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California state senate passes net neutrality bill

California's senate passed the state's bold net neutrality bill, with lawmakers voting 27-12 on Aug. 31.

The legislation — dubbed Senate Bill 822 and which prohibits internet service providers from blocking, speeding up or slowing down certain websites or applications — will now be handed over to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown for approval.

Brown has not yet taken a position on the bill and has until the end of September to decide.

"I'm optimistic Gov. Brown also sees the importance of protecting this indispensable element of modern life," Assemblymember Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, said in a press release.

The bill is authored by Democratic Sens. Scott Wiener of San Francisco and Kevin de León of Los Angeles. The California State Assembly on Aug. 30 passed the legislation in a 61-18 vote.

SB 822 would also ban "zero-rating" practices classified as anti-competitive or preferential. Zero-rating, which exempts certain internet traffic from counting toward a customer's data cap, has been a controversial concept as the bill has been debated, according to the press release on Wiener's website.

If California successfully enacts the bill, it will become the fourth state to pass a net neutrality law, joining Washington, Oregon and Vermont.