California net neutrality law on hold, Becerra signs “agreement not to enforce senate bill 822”

26 October 2018 by Steve Blum
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In a deal reached with the federal justice department and lobbyists for major telecoms companies, California attorney general Xavier Becerra agreed not to enforce senate bill 822 when it takes effect on 1 January 2019. In return, the telecoms companies and the Trump administration will push the pause button on their challenges to the law in a Sacramento federal court.

The plan is to wait until a federal appeals court in the District of Columbia rules on whether the Federal Communications Commission acted properly when it repealed net neutrality rules last year.… More

California attorney general might put net neutrality law on hold

25 October 2018 by Steve Blum
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California’s new network neutrality law might not go into effect as planned in January. Politico is reporting that California attorney general Xavier Becerra is considering making a deal with the Trump administration and lobbyists for AT&T, Charter Communications, Comcast, Frontier Communications and other monopoly model telecoms companies….

Sources familiar with the negotiations say government officials and representatives from USTelecom, CTIA, NCTA and the American Cable Association would propose delaying litigation over the state’s law while the D.C.


Big cable, telcos try to block Vermont’s net neutrality purchasing rules

23 October 2018 by Steve Blum
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Charter Communications, Comcast, AT&T and other big, monopoly model broadband providers are taking the State of Vermont to federal court, accusing it of flouting the Federal Communications Commission’s keen desire to remove any limits on their behavior. Vermont legislators passed a law earlier this year that prohibits state and local agencies from buying broadband service from companies that don’t abide by the network neutrality principles adopted by a democratic majority FCC in 2015 and overturned last year as republicans took over control of the agency.… More

California’s net neutrality law needs a little bit of help from its tech friends

22 October 2018 by Steve Blum
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Only one group jumped in as a friend of the court – an amicus curiae – to help the federal justice department, and lobbyists for AT&T, Comcast, Charter Communications and Frontier Communications in their quest to kill California’s new network neutrality law. One point made – that California’s Internet law won’t stop at the Nevada line – can only be answered with technical expertise.

The friend was, of course, another group of lobbyists, which rather grandly calls itself the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America.… More

FCC’s have it both ways brief is California’s heads we win, tails you lose hope

17 October 2018 by Steve Blum
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Besides doing rhetorical back flips to explain why broadband isn’t a telecommunications service, the Federal Communications Commission’s defence of its decision to scrap network neutrality rules also goes to great lengths to justify its declaration that states cannot impose their own laws as a substitute. This specific preemption, along with federal law and the general constitutional principle that the federal government has sole authority over interstate commerce, forms the basis for the court challenge to California’s net neutrality law mounted by lobbyists for AT&T, Charter, Comcast, Frontier and other monopoly model telecoms companies, and the allied law suit filed by the Trump administration.… More

Motions to block California’s net neutrality law to be heard end of November

12 October 2018 by Steve Blum
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The federal justice department will work side by side with telecom industry lobbyists to block California’s new network neutrality law. The two challenges to senate bill 822, filed shortly after it was signed into law by California governor Jerry Brown, will be taken up as a package by a federal judge in Sacramento. For now, the two cases will be technically separate, but will be argued and decided together.

Judge John Mendez set a hearing for 28 November 2018 to decide if he’ll issue a preliminary injunction that would prevent SB 822 from taking effect in January.… More

FCC’s broadband paradox opens a door for California’s net neutrality law

10 October 2018 by Steve Blum
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Both California and Washington now have laws on the books that, to one extent or another, reinstate network neutrality rules that were scrapped last year by the Federal Communications Commission. California’s law was challenged by the Trump administration in federal court a couple of hours after it was signed, on a Sunday afternoon, by governor Jerry Brown. Lobbying fronts for AT&T, Comcast, Charter, Frontier and other monopoly model telecoms companies soon followed.

Conventional wisdom has been that a state can’t regulate Internet access service, because it’s clearly a matter of interstate – international, really – commerce.… More

Big telecom drops lawyers and lobbyists on California’s net neutrality law

5 October 2018 by Steve Blum
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Lobbying front organisations for AT&T, Charter, Comcast, Frontier and mobile carriers joined forces to mount another legal challenge to California’s new network neutrality law on Wednesday. The four are the American Cable Association (ACA), the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) and the U.S. Telephone Association (USTelecom) – they keep trying to rebrand themselves, but that’s what the initials originally stood for, and what they’re really about.

They filed a complaint and motion for an injunction in a Sacramento federal court, claiming that the network neutrality law – senate bill 822 – signed by governor Jerry Brown on Sunday is “a classic example of unconstitutional state regulation”.… More

California’s new muni broadband law establishes rights, and net neutrality responsibility

3 October 2018 by Steve Blum
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California governor Jerry Brown actually signed two network neutrality bills into law on Sunday. The Big Kahuna was senate bill 822, which establishes net neutrality rules for Internet service providers doing business in California. But alongside it was assembly bill 1999, which, among things, requires publicly owned broadband systems to abide by net neutrality principles, whether or not their private competitors have to.

It’s a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it’s good thing for muni broadband systems to operate on a net neutral basis, both from a public policy and a customer service perspective.… More

Court gives California three weeks to defend net neutrality law

2 October 2018 by Steve Blum
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The gears of justice are grinding on California’s newly minted network neutrality law. Yesterday, the federal court in Sacramento gave California attorney general Xavier Becerra three weeks to respond to the Trump adminstration’s attempt to nullify senate bill 822.

Signed Sunday afternoon by governor Jerry Brown, the law reinstates the core elements of the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 ban on blocking, throttling and paid prioritisation of Internet traffic on the basis of content, and also clarifies that selective zero rating is prohibited.… More