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California’s dreaming of having America’s toughest net neutrality regime

March 15, 2018

A draft state law would be even stricter than federal rules that it aims to replace.

The news: Ars Technica says Scott Weiner, a California state senator, and other local politicians have introduced a revised bill to create a net neutrality law for the state. It would impose stiffer restrictions than the national one being scrapped by the Federal Communications Commission.

Details: The draft law mimics the federal rules, forbidding internet service providers from blocking or throttling web traffic. But it also goes further, banning “zero-rating”—a practice that lets companies pay ISPs to have their applications exempted from user data caps.

Mixed reactions: The proposed legislation is winning support from consumer advocacy groups that lobbied against the FCC’s plans to abandon net neutrality rules. But the agency has said it will mount a legal challenge against states that try to replicate the rules it’s ditching.

Why it matters: Several states, including Washington, have already passed their own net neutrality laws. Plenty of others are thinking of doing so, too, and California’s proposed move could influence them.

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