California took a step toward making its own net neutrality rules when a bill to restore some internet provider regulations easily passed in the state Senate on Wednesday.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Scott Wiener, would restore rules similar to the Obama-era policy of the Federal Communications Commission's 2015 Open Internet Order, The Verge reported.
That policy prevented internet providers from speeding up or blocking online content and required them to treat all internet traffic the same. The rules were rolled back by a Republican-controlled FCC last year, turning over authority for broadband providers to the Federal Trade Commission.
That repeal becomes official on June 11, CNET.com reported.
California's bill reportedly would go even further than the federal rules by specifically banning providers from participating in some types of "zero-rating" programs, in which certain favored content doesn't contribute to monthly data caps, The Verge said.
"Today the State Senate took a huge step towards re-instating net neutrality in California," Wiener said. "When Donald Trump's FCC took a wrecking ball to the Obama-era net neutrality protections, we said we would step in to make sure that California residents would be protected from having their Internet access manipulated."
The bill still has to pass the state assembly and then be signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. The state assembly will not hear arguments on the bill until next month and it must be passed by August, according to CNET.com.
Internet service providers like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast have all come out against California's effort to establish the Obama-era Internet rules, CNET.com said. The companies charged that bans on things like zero-rating and paid-priority, limit their ability to try new business models.
The companies said that if California's net neutrality bill becomes law, it could lead to higher consumer prices because of those limitations.
CET.com said California is one of more than two dozen states thinking about legislation to reinstate the former federal net neutrality rules. the website stated.
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