Hey, Alexa: California Just Passed Internet of Things Bills

Hey, Alexa: California Just Passed Internet of Things Bills

Hey, Alexa: California Just Passed Internet of Things Bills

California lawmakers rallied enough votes Friday to pass the nation's toughest net neutrality law to prevent internet providers from favoring certain websites, setting up a fight with federal regulators who voted a year ago to erase such rules.

Meanwhile, the California Cable & Telecommunications Association (CCTA) argued that the state law goes too far and will further foster a sense of uncertainty that could chill investment by cable operators and other Internet service providers.

The California Bill is the most significant victory for supporters of net neutrality rules since the FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, scrapped federal regulations past year. "But that hiccup means that, although a version of the bill already passed in the California Senate, it's now different enough from that initial version to have to be re-voted on".

The legislation will now proceed to the governor's desk for a signature in the coming weeks.

For example, AT&T zero-rates the DirecTV Now streaming service for its cellular customers, meaning consumers can watch programming on a mobile phone without it counting against their data caps. The bill also would require investor-owned utilities - including PG&E, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric - to harden their equipment so it's less likely to cause fires.

The California legislation includes numerous FCC's old rules, but goes even further.

But the current FCC, led by Republican Chairman Ajit Pai, repealed those regulations in June, with Pai calling them "heavy-handed".

Critics say California would be foolish to give up the unique control it has over its grid operator, especially when President Donald Trump is looking to expand opportunities for coal plants and California is looking to shed coal from the grid.

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It passed the Assembly 46-20 August 28 and first passed the Senate in January.

Telecom industry groups and lobbyists warned the bill would be challenged in federal court.

"ISPs have tried hard to gut and kill this bill, pouring money and robocalls into California", said Katharine Trendacosta, policy analyst for Electronic Frontier Foundation, in a letter to supporters after the Assembly vote.

The Assembly's vote followed months of intense lobbying from internet companies, which warned that it would lead to higher costs.

Jonathan Keller, president of California Family Council, a faith-based group that helped organize opposition by local, state, and national organizations and individuals, called Low's decision an answer to opponents' prayers.

Net neutrality activists cited their legislative victory Friday as a validation of their congressional strategy: to pressure vulnerable federal lawmakers who are running for reelection this year to endorse stronger net neutrality rules at a national level.

"Internet users are still royally pissed off about the FCC's repeal", Greer said in a statement following Friday's vote.

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