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Daily Action: Beat Back the Lobbyists Opposing Net Neutrality in CA


CONTACT:
Sen. Henry Stern:
(916) 651-4027 (Sacramento)
(818) 876-3352
(805) 815-3917 (Calabasas)
Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson:
(916) 651-4019 (Sacramento)
(805) 965-0862 (Santa Barbara)
(805) 988-1940 (Oxnard)
ssemblymember Jacqui Irwin: 
(916) 319-2044 (Sacramento)
(805) 482-1904 (Camarillo)
(805) 483-4488 (Oxnard)
Assemblymember Richard Bloom:
(916) 319-2050 (Sacramento)
(310) 450-0041 (Santa Monica)
Assemblymember Dante Acosta:
(916) 319-2038 (Sacramento)
(661) 286-1565 (Santa Clarita)

Short Script:
Hello! My name is _______, and I am a constituent of Senator/Assemblymember ___________'s in ____________, California. I'm calling to urge her/him to resist the telecommunications lobby and its millions of dollars, and support SB 822 to restore Net Neutrality for Californians. Our state must lead the way in providing consumer protections that will stop rich corporations from dominating the internet. Thank you!


BACKGROUND
As the California state legislature returned from its summer recess this week, one of the principal items on its agenda is finalizing Sen. Scott Weiner's Net Neutrality bill, SB 822. The bill nearly was derailed in June, when a committee in the state assembly -- apparently swayed by telecom lobbyists -- inserted amendments that would have rendered it toothless. However, two weeks later Weiner and that committee's chairman, Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, announced an agreement that restored the bill's most important provisions.

SB 822 combats the Trump FCC's elimination of federal Net Neutrality regulations by instituting replacements that would be enforceable statewide. It would prohibit internet service providers from blocking or "throttling" some websites (particularly smaller ones) in favor of others that have paid for "fast-lane" access. It also would ban ISPs from imposing access fees to content providers, and it would limit "zero-rating" services, which companies have used to lure customers by exempting certain types of data (streaming, for example) from monthly usage limits.

The telecommunications industry plans to fight SB 822 all the way to the end, insisting that the bill is too broad and even exceeds the federal rules put in place during the Obama administration. Lobbyists representing AT&T, Verizon, the California Cable and Telecommunications Association, and the California Technology Industry Association have already spent around $6 million to influence legislators. Their temporary success in convincing Santiago's assembly committee to gut Weiner's bill suggests that SB 822's prospects will be precarious straight through the end of the session in September.