California Net Neutrality Rules Become Law as Federal Gov't Moves to Invalidate Them

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law the California Internet neutrality rules, which make it unlawful for Internet access providers to block, degrade or de-prioritize Internet traffic, applications or services. The California rules, set to take effect on January 1, 2019, are aimed at ensuring that internet access providers treat all Internet traffic equally, by refraining from prioritizing Internet traffic for or against certain services or applications, such as allocating higher bandwidth to services like Netflix while restricting bandwidth to other services like P2P tools. Experts have described the California law as the toughest net neutrality law enacted in the US.  

The California law was enacted in the wake of the FCC’s 2017 decision to overturn the net neutrality rules enacted in 2015 under the Obama administration. FCC officials had cited the desire to encourage investments in technology and foster competition as their underlying policy-motivation. 

The Department of Justice has already moved to strike the California law in federal court on constitutional grounds, arguing that net neutrality policy-making is under the exclusive authority of the federal government, not the individual states. The federal government is also seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent the California law from taking effect in January.

CLICK HERE to read the California law.