Hello! My name is _______, and I am a constituent of Senator ___________'s in ____________, California. I'm calling to urge her/him to support Senate Bill 460 as it comes before the Judiciary Committee tomorrow. If the federal government will not ensure a free-flowing internet, where ISPs cannot block websites or sell faster speeds to the highest bidder, then California should use its size and economic might to regulate internet commerce to the fullest extent possible. Thank you!
In the weeks since Trump's FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, led a majority on the commission to overturn Net Neutrality rules, California legislators have been discussing ways in which the state can exert its own regulatory powers to stop Internet Service Providers from playing favorites with high-paying content providers (or with their own proprietary applications). Their efforts have coalesced in Senate Bill 460, introduced by Senate President Pro-Tem Kevin De León. The bill comes before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, January 24 -- and both of the senators representing Ventura County, Henry Stern and Hannah-Beth Jackson, sit on that committee.
SB460 would put the California Public Utilities Commission in charge of creating new net neutrality rules, making it unlawful for broadband companies to block or limit access to internet services. The bill would give the state's attorney general the power to enforce the new regulations. SB460 faces stiff opposition from lobbyists representing broadband and wireless companies, of course -- and advocates for the bill worry that it might fall victim to the same pressures that stalled an internet privacy bill last year.
On Monday, Montana governor Steve Bullock issued an order making his the first state to ban companies from receiving state contracts if they interfere with internet traffic, or if they sell faster access to higher-paying sites or apps. Here in California, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's legal counsel, Ernesto Falcon, has submitted a letter to the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications committee urging that both the privacy and Net Neutrality bills be passed this year. "No one state will be able to restore what was lost in December," he said. "But there is a lot states can do to move the networks in that direction."