Prediction: Brown will sign California net neutrality bill into law

22 September 2018 by Steve Blum
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With a week left to go before a decision is due, California governor Jerry Brown hasn’t said which side he’s going to land on in the network neutrality debate. Senate bill 822, which would restore net neutrality rules in California, is still sitting on his desk.

Brown does not give away much, if anything, when he’s considering bills. He gives bills serious thought. Some more than others, but he makes his own decisions. He’s good at balancing political, fiscal, operational and philosophical considerations.… More

AT&T and Comcast know Internet content censorship is real and it works

20 September 2018 by Steve Blum
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I’ve seen what a world without network neutrality looks like, and it isn’t pretty. I spent a couple of weeks in China this summer with a Linux laptop and an Android phone. There was 4G mobile broadband available everywhere I went, and WiFi availability is common. But that only gets you so far.

My gmail account was blocked, along with all the other Google services I use. To get around that, I set up an Office 365 account with an alternate domain name.… More

AT&T, Comcast, Charter paying big bucks to California’s anti-net neutrality legislators

19 September 2018 by Steve Blum
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California’s biggest telecoms companies – AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Charter Communications and their lobbying fronts – are being very generous to the members of the assembly’s communications and conveyances committee who ripped the guts out of senate bill 822 back in June. That’s the bill, authored by senator Scott Wiener (D – San Francisco) that would restore network neutrality rules in California. If governor Jerry Brown signs it.

The damage done was reversed, after netizens went feral on the committee’s chair, assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D – Los Angeles) and democratic party leaders leaned on him.… More

“Crony” capitalist FCC chair rips California’s “nanny state legislators”

18 September 2018 by Steve Blum
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Ajit Pai verbally grasped at straws to slam a California bill that would reinstate network neutrality rules. In a speech in Maine, the chair of the Federal Communications Commission snarked “I can understand how they succumbed to the temptation to regulate. After all, I suppose a broadband pipe might look to some like a plastic straw”. He was referring to Californian attempts to send plastic straws the way of the disposable bag.

Pai repeated a common argument used by industry lobbyists – that senate bill 822 would end popular free data plans – and called it “a radical, anti-consumer Internet regulation bill”.… More

Federal court throws cold water on California net neutrality and the FCC

10 September 2018 by Steve Blum
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A federal appellate court ruling in Minneapolis could, if its reasoning is adopted nationwide, kill any attempt by California to establish our own network neutrality rules. The court’s logic could also spell trouble for the FCC’s 2017 decision to roll back the federal net neutrality regulations it approved in 2015.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission wanted to regulate Charter Communications voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service as if it was old school, plain old telephone service (POTS).… More

AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint guilty of throttling video, study says

9 September 2018 by Steve Blum
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U.S. mobile broadband companies throttle video streams, according to research recently published by Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. After looking at data from 100,000 consumers who voluntarily downloaded a monitoring app – Wehe – the researchers identified tens of thousands of instances where video was delivered at a slower speed than other data traffic.

As related in a Bloomberg article by Olga Kharif, the big online video platforms were hit hard…

Among U.S.


AT&T, Comcast, Charter backed groups fight California net neutrality with lies and fear

4 September 2018 by Steve Blum
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Lobbyists and front organisations for big telecoms companies killed one network neutrality bill – senate bill 460 – in the California legislature, and are carrying their fight against another – SB 822 – to governor Jerry Brown, who must approve or veto it. Their tactics include spreading lies and fear among senior citizens and other targeted groups.

According to an article in the Verge by Jacob Kastrenakes, an organisation that calls itself the Civil Justice Association of California is behind anti-SB 822 robocalls that targeted senior citizens, Asian Americans and Latinos.… More

One net neutrality bill wins, one loses in the California legislature

1 September 2018 by Steve Blum
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One strong network neutrality bill – senate bill 822 – was passed by the California senate yesterday, but a second one – SB 460 – failed in the assembly.

SB 822 was carried by senator Scott Wiener (D – San Francisco). It reinstates the “bright line” net neutrality rules adopted in 2015, then scrapped in 2017 by the Federal Communications Commission: no blocking, throttling or paid prioritisation. It also takes a couple of general rules from the 2015 decision and makes them specific: no non-neutral zero rating and no evading net neutrality regulations via upstream interconnections to other companies.… More

Net neutrality wins California assembly vote, now it’s on to the senate

31 August 2018 by Steve Blum
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Senate bill 822 was approved on a lopsided vote in the California assembly yesterday. The tally was 61 ayes, 18 noes, 1 abstention. All democrats and five republicans voted aye; the noes and the abstention (which has the same effect as a no) were all republicans.

The bill, authored by senator Scott Weiner (D – San Francisco) reinstates network neutrality regulations in California: no blocking, throttling, paid prioritisation and non-neutral zero rating of consumer broadband service, both within an Internet service provider’s network and at the point of connection to other networks.… More

Good news, bad news, no news for California net neutrality bills

29 August 2018 by Steve Blum
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The good news is that California senate bill 822 won’t – can’t – be watered down or otherwise amended. Last night was the deadline set by the California constitution for making and posting amendments to any pending legislation (short of a declaration of emergency by the governor). Authored by senator Scott Wiener (D – San Francisco), SB 822 would reinstate network neutrality regulations scrapped last year by the Federal Communications Commission. It would outlaw blocking, throttling, paid prioritisation and non-neutral zero rating of consumer broadband service, as well as any attempt by Internet service providers to evade those bans via upstream maneuvers.… More