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California Bill Would Restore, Strengthen Net Neutrality Protections (mercurynews.com) 83

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Mercury News: With the FCC order to repeal net neutrality rules set to take effect next week, a bill that would restore those regulations in California will get its first hearing Tuesday (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source). SB 822, written by State Sen. Scott D. Wiener, D-San Francisco, is backed by big names including Tom Wheeler, the Obama-appointed former Federal Communications Commission chairman who wrote the 2015 Open Internet Order. Wheeler is joined by former FCC commissioners Michael Copps and Gloria Tristani in advocating for SB 822, which would in some ways be stronger than the net neutrality rules put in place under President Obama's administration after more than a decade of legal and political wrangling. Those rules required equal treatment of all internet traffic, and prohibited the establishment of internet slow and fast lanes. Wiener's bill would also prohibit "zero rating," in which internet providers exempt certain content, sites and services from data caps. In addition, it would prohibit public agencies in the state from signing contracts with ISPs that violate net neutrality principles, and call for internet service providers to be transparent about their practices and offerings.

California Bill Would Restore, Strengthen Net Neutrality Protections

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  • Net Neutrality ftw!

    Nobody cares about the flyover states, right?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Flyover states just believe what they are told to believe by Fox News and political talk radio.

      Net Neutrality is un-American, anti-Capitalist, socialistic and something that Obama Liberals losers created. Therefore; they hate it.

      • Flyover states just believe what they are told to believe by Fox News and political talk radio

        There are people who uncritically accept Fox News in pretty much every state. Some states in "Flyover" areas have substantial liberal populations. Colorado and Iowa are both examples.

    • Nobody cares about the flyover states, right?

      They get to care about themselves. NN not going to be a thing at a federal level because of all the states voting R. If they want to have it at a state level it's up to them. The D's tried to vote someone in who wouldn't fuck everything up and didn't succeed. Now they're concentrating on looking after themselves at a state level. If R's want those protections, perhaps they should oh I don't know, vote against people who want tear them down to make way for corpora

  • You're welcome (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday April 16, 2018 @05:39PM (#56448581) Journal

    California: showing the rest of the US how to do it since 1850.

    • Yeah, the way they run CalPers is one hell of an example....They had especially nice relationships with LTCM and Enron. Go CA! More of that...we already can't afford your MIC parasites and the bailouts you're gonna need. Succeed already.
      • Re:You're welcome (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DCFusor ( 1763438 ) on Monday April 16, 2018 @05:47PM (#56448645) Homepage
        And FWIW as an actual conservative (rather than some alt-right wing nut) - I'm all for the kind of net neutrality Wheeler surprised us with. I'm old enough to remember all kinds of fearful comments about Wheeler here and on Ars (and Groklaw) because of his cable lobbyist background.
        Seems some people need to remember that politics is the entertainment branch of the military industrial complex - on a good day.
        • by kqs ( 1038910 )

          I'm old enough to remember all kinds of fearful comments about Wheeler here and on Ars (and Groklaw) because of his cable lobbyist background.

          And "Dingo" Wheeler's initial actions proved those fears correct. But then people objected, and (wonder of wonders) Wheeler listened and learned and reversed course. And we got a rational policy.

          Compare to Pai's methods. "FCC hears ya. FCC don't care."

    • States rights is an outdated racist doctrine. It's wrong to have 50 different state laws when one federal law will do. You've been tricked by Trump into supporting his position that citizens should do it themselves rather than depend on the government. I thought Californians were smarter than that?
  • by H3lldr0p ( 40304 ) on Monday April 16, 2018 @05:39PM (#56448587) Homepage

    are shitting themselves in fear and have begun dumping a ton of lobbying money into the capital. They've likely screwed themselves much as they did in court before the FCC dropped their action against them. By arguing out both sides of their mouth and also through their ass, they've put themselves into the unenviable position of dealing with a patchwork of laws instead of a single set of regulations. It's not as if this was an unforeseen outcome. It's quite the opposite given public opinion on the issue.

    However, for reasons of nothing but plain insatiable greed the biggest ISPs decided to try anyway.

    • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

      This patchwork of laws will make it tough for national ISPs to enjoy economies of scale, and easier for small mom&pop ISPs to compete with them.

      So what's the downside?

    • Well, sure. ISPs want the 'service' they provide to be treated like some Boutique Service, not the public utility the Internet has become, so they can charge everyone up the ass for it and expect a 'thank you' from us while we're being anally violated. They know damned well though that those days are numbered and are fighting against the inevitable.
  • There's already Federal bills working their way through Congress to preempt yours. Internet is a global thing, at the very least it needs to be regulated nationally.
    • I love the fact that (THOSE GUYS) are now arguing for national regulation.

      • The parties are on opposite sides of the political philosophy so important to them in other contexts.

        For that matter, had the Obama rules remained in place, and some state come up with Trump's rules, and tried indignany to roll them out, well, I doubt the dems would be bleating for states' rights, and the republicans for federal domination.

    • Bullshit.

      This is exactly how the U.S. works, or at least used to. Its not up to the federal government to regulate everything.

      Imagine Federal livery regulation instead of State and City regulation of said industries. You know it would have a bad outcome. Everyone does. Yet in the past 50 or so years there has been a big push to federalize everything, including and especially things like health insurance. I bring up health insurance because Californians were a big player in Federalizing it into a monstro
      • Federal Regulations come about when corporations prove themselves unable to be trusted.

        I would prefer the States handle this but the telcoms have already made a lot of noise about suing in Federal court to prevent regulation by the states.

        They cannot be trusted to regulate themselves. As long as Trump/Verizon's Toadie is in charge of the FCC, they're useless. Legislative capture. The fox in charge of the henhouse. Should be a treasonable act to set things up so.

    • by tomhath ( 637240 )
      And it should be regulated by law, not at the whim of a president. Which is why it's playing out the way it is.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      States' rights*!!

      *except when it's someone else's rights I want to take away

      -Conservatives

  • by Puk ( 80503 ) on Monday April 16, 2018 @05:52PM (#56448681)
    A Senate committee recommended serious cuts to the bill:
    https://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blog/2018/04/california-senate-committee-recommends-cutting-key-net-neutrality-protections

    And, of course, the ISPs have been fighting the bill _hard_:
    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/04/att-and-cable-lobby-are-terrified-of-a-california-net-neutrality-bill/

    If you're in CA and you support effective net neutrality legislation, let your local legislators know you want the original bill.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I would like to meet California Bill and shake his hand!

  • Those rules required equal treatment of all internet traffic

    Please tell me my phone call packets can still get precedence over pornhub traffic.

    • Why should they? How is your conversation more important than someone else's porn? Packets is packets - besides, if your network is experiencing enough congestion to not get voice packets through in a timely manner, you've got more trouble than people streaming porn.

  • by tomhath ( 637240 )
    Neutrality was never in effect.
  • by viperidaenz ( 2515578 ) on Monday April 16, 2018 @06:56PM (#56448977)

    It's worked quite well in NZ before.

    Currently we have zero rating available for mobile customers, you can buy a "socialiser" pack for your mobile plan, so Facebook et al. don't count towards your data caps.

    Many many years ago I had a cable plan where NZ traffic was counted at 10%, so if you used local services (back in the day where DC++ was popular) and you effectively had 10x your data limit. Most local traffic between ISPs went through free peer exchanges while international traffic was costly for ISP's.

    I'm sure there are ISP's that offer other zero rating plans for the likes of TV streaming.

    I guess it would be different if an ISP had a monopoly in any area, but wholesale and retail has been split by with government regulation. Any ISP can serve any customer, whether it's via DSL or Fibre. It's only wireless ISP's that run their physical networks.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2018 @07:48PM (#56449223)

      Because if everyone does it then in order to get to the real internet you have to pay a lot of money.

      As a customer you end up paying your contract (with a tiny data cap), plus the "social" bundle for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the "entertainment" bundle for Netflix, Hulu and Spotify, the "navigation" bundle for Google Maps, and the "information" bundle for Google Search, Bing and Yahoo.

      If you want to use wikipedia, well that comes out of your general data cap. Same if you want to use Hulu or Foursquare or dischord. They have to pay the ISP to be included in the right bundle, see, and you have to pay the ISP for that bundle.

      But wait, there's more fun: in a lot of countries, the companies who own the internet access area also media companies. So if I want to watch Sky Sports on-demand then hooray, that's zero-rated! But if I want to watch the BBC sports coverage, that will cost me.

      The whole "net neutrality" thing isn't about network performance or peering agreements. There are already plenty of ISP-level mechanisms in place to mitigate having to pull data across continents (lots of content companies offer to supply local caches of their data to national ISPs for just this purpose). Net neutrality is about stopping data network operators from being able to control which specific services people can use (by making their own/their partner's services free/much cheaper than competitors) and to charge twice for the same bandwidth (you and the content company). In the USA it's particularly egregious, because they are actually demanding to be allowed to charge three times: once to the customer, once to the content supplier and once to the government who already paid tens of billions in subsidies to build out networks to make bandwidth available to connect customers and suppliers, which the telecoms monopolies spent on dividends and bonuses instead. That US broadband customers have extremely limited or zero choice of providers just means that the providers can abuse the shit out of them, and there is literally nothing the customer can do short of moving house or doing without the internet.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Zero-rating is anti-competitive. That "socialiser" pack doesn't include any upstart social networks or distributed ones; it entrenches the existing players at the cost of innovation, competition, and openness.

      I was recently on an airplane where they charged for internet except zero-rating for a small number of IM services. So people who fly a lot are likely to prefer those services. And IM services have network effects, so the people those people want to talk to have to also be using those services to actua

    • I'll field this one.

      So, eliminating Net Neutrality was never about maximizing Internet profit from consumers. In fact, consumers would likely benefit (at first), because they're the ones with the power. They're the ones the telcos don't want to piss off.

      Internet prices might even fall (in the short-term) as part of an appeasement strategy.

      The real money is in charging the established content providers a premium for access to consumers.

      Take Spotify, for example. If Net Neutrality is eliminated, Spotify an

      • I never mentioned slowing traffic. I was talking solely about zero rating.

        In a market where wholesale and retail are separated, you literally have dozens of ISP's (even in this little country of less than 5 million people)
        Zero rating becomes a differentiator for the ISP's, not a tool for Big Media to cut out the little guy. Big Media would need to engage in anti-competitive behaviour with multiple companies, greatly increasing their risk of being caught and prosecuted or publicly outed if they did it throug

        • But why even take the risk?

          People/governments around the world should lay this one out crystal clear: carriers, you will serve our will, or we will delete you, arrest your CEO, and seize your assets for the common good.

          It is our land, and they are our airwaves. Not yours. Carriers, you exist at our behest.

          There is a shitton of money to be made by serving the telecommunication needs the citizens of a modern nation.

          That should be enough. And, if carriers can't act in good faith, there's no reason for us, t

          • You've missed the point entirely

            NZ has a market where an ISP can do what they please. There is little barrier to entry for new ISP's.
            If they do things people don't like, their customers will switch. Last time I switched I was without internet access for only 5 minutes while I swapped routers.
            I switched because a competitor offered a cheaper, faster service.

            The key is no artificial barriers for new ISP's and a clear separation between wholesale and retail.

            You bleating on about arresting CEO's, deleting compa

  • The 10th amendment works as designed !!!

  • your state protected paper insulated wireline. That telco monopoly is all ready for NN.
  • In 5-10 years California will observe, that other places have higher availability of Internet service and wonder why.

    Customarily, instead of suspecting their own regulatory burden, they'll accuse the evil KKKorporation$ of seeking "too much" make profit, and start seeking ways to compel them into less profitable things. In exchange for tax-payer subsidy...

    The well known cycle [brainyquote.com] of:

    • If it moves, tax it
    • If it keeps moving, regulate it
    • When it stops moving, subsidize it

    will be complete...

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      Nah, they'll just build out municipal broadband that's ten times as fast for half the price.

      That's when those same carriers that won't touch the state with a ten foot pole will run crying to Uncle Sam and moan about unfair competition (in a market they refuse to enter).

      • by mi ( 197448 )

        Nah, they'll just build out municipal broadband that's ten times as fast for half the price.

        Yeah, because all of the earlier governmental undertaking proved so superior to private enterprises. To wit:

        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          OTOH, municipal broadband has consistently kicked private offering's asses in spite of having to fight lawsuits and captured state legislatures just to exist.

          Public transit works OK for the level of funding it sees. In many cases, semi-privatization is what ails it. Care to point to a fully private service that doesn't suck or cost too much for most people using public transit?

          Show me those private roads paved with gold!

          • by mi ( 197448 )

            OTOH, municipal broadband has consistently kicked private offering's asses

            Citations needed.

            in spite of having to fight lawsuits

            Local governments wield undue powers over Internet-service provision [wired.com]. To allow them to compete with private providers is to enable corruption on an even worse scale. There is nothing magical about it — the same group of people setting up the local ISP could do it regardless of whether they are incorporated as a private entity or a town government's department. If they "kick a

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