With a swipe of his pen, California Governor Jerry Brown made net neutrality the law in California. That means that ISPs and wireless carriers must treat all streams of content the same. For example, Netflix can't pay AT&T money to have its content sent through a "fast lane." In addition, no content can be banned just because it conflicts with the philosophical leanings of a wireless provider. California's law also adds something that the original net neutrality rules didn't have; it prevents content streamers from paying to have its music or video streamed with a zero-rating.
The Trump-era FCC repealed net neutrality earlier this year and it has become a political issue. The majority of Americans want the rules to return, and many states are attempting to legislate net neutrality. California joins Oregon and Washington as states that have successfully passed a net neutrality bill.
A couple of weeks ago, FCC chairman Ajit Pai called California's bill "illegal,"
and the Trump administration has just filed a suit. The Department of Justice says that the new California law goes against the federal governments desire to deregulate the internet by creating anti-consumer requirements. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said today, "Once again the California Legislature has enacted an extreme and illegal state law attempting to frustrate federal policy."
"This is a historic day for California. A free and open internet is a cornerstone of 21st century life: our democracy, our economy, our health care and public safety systems, and day-to-day activities."-California State Senator Scott Wiener, author of the net neutrality bill
Meanwhile, the law takes effect on January 1st, and supporters of the bill in California cheered as news of its passage was disseminated. Of course, U.S. carriers were not celebrating. The USTelecom trade group, representing telecommunications firms in the states, said Sunday that "Rather than 50 states stepping in with their own conflicting open internet solutions, we need Congress to step up with a national framework for the whole internet ecosystem and resolve this issue once and for all."