Californian lawmakers gathered enough votes Friday to pass the nation's toughest net neutrality law to prevent ISPs from favoring certain sites and launching a fight with federal agencies that dropped those rules last year to have.
If Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, signs the bill in the coming weeks, California will become the powerhouse in a growing group of states in conflict with the Federal Communications Commission in a collision that ends in the Supreme Court could.
The legislation, which was the subject of intense lobbying by the broadband industry, would prevent ISPs from blocking, slowing, or favoring certain websites. It would prevent providers from charging new fees for apps and websites to reach internet users. And it would be illegal for carriers to exclude apps from consumers' monthly data caps if it could "cause" abusive competing startups and small businesses.
The bill aims to make California a pioneer in an extension of state backlash against the FCC, which did not respond to a request for comment. On Friday, the State Senate has collected enough votes to pass the legislation. The US government approved a version on Thursday.
"That would have a big impact on the US, because California is so central to everything Internet and the eighth largest economy in the world," said Carl Tobias, law professor at the University of Richmond. A lawsuit aimed at the bill could eventually find its way to the Supreme Court, Tobias added. The court is already considering whether an independent net neutrality lawsuit should be heard.
California has also taken over regulatory sovereignty when it passed a comprehensive data protection law in June ̵
20 states accuse the FCC of lifting the Agency's net neutrality decision. Nearly three dozen states have introduced bills to replace the deceased regulations, and three states have already approved them. Net neutrality activists, civil servants take the FCC to court
California could be the fourth state to approve the rules of net neutrality when Brown signs the bill. He has not taken a public stance, according to policy analysts, but the bill passed into the Democrat-dominated State Chancellery with a large margin
"This is a basic consumer protection that protects small and medium businesses, protects activists and unions, and protects anyone who uses the internet. " said Democratic State Senator Scott Wiener, the lender of the bill representing the San Francisco area.
A patchwork of state laws could make it difficult to comply with regulations for internet service providers and lead to a legal challenge that focuses on the power of the federal government. In some of its provisions, the California law goes further than the national regulations that the FCC has repealed , and takes an expansive view of the broadband industry's public commitments.
Industry groups have said a sin A single law drafted by Congress would far more effectively ensure the protection of net neutrality for Internet users. AT & T, which harshly opposed the Californian bill through its local lobbyists, has called for a national "Internet Bill of Rights" that includes Internet service providers and online platforms like Google and Facebook alike.
"The Internet must be governed By a single, consistent and consistent national policy framework, not by single, piecemeal approaches, Governor Brown should apply his right of veto to this legislation, and Congress should intervene and provide consumer protection that addresses this issue Everything solves everything, "said a statement by Jonathan Spalter, CEO of USTelecom, an industry trading group.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was a long-time critic of federal net neutrality. Approved by Democratic Chairman Tom Wheeler in 2015, regulations prevented vendors from blocking or slowing down Internet content, paving the way for new, harsh digital privacy policies.
The restrictions provoked Internet service providers such as Verizon and Comcast They said the rules would cost their businesses unnecessary costs and prevent them from investing in upgrades to their networks. Consumer groups, however, argued that the rules are important for protecting users at a time when Internet service providers are focusing on buying up media outlets and setting up Facebook-like companies that mine user data for promotional purposes.
After Pai was appointed president by Donald Trump last year at the head of the FCC, one of his first acts was a plan to roll back the Obama era arrangements. He joined the broadband industry, adding that the rules of net neutrality are an example of unlawful government transgressions.
Pai's critics have made a multi-pronged effort to reverse this move, file a lawsuit in federal court and demand a vote in Congress the FCC and urge government legislation – like California.
The final bill passage came after State Assembly 61-18 voted to approve the measure Thursday, followed by a 27 to 12 vote on Friday by the Senate.  Consumer groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a number of smaller technology companies such as Etsy, Reddit and Sonos have come out on top. Broadband-backed groups like CALinnovates and the California Seniors Congress argued against it.
Net neutrality has been an important political issue, especially for smaller technology companies, as they are disadvantaged by special commercial partnerships Providers could seek large, established companies such as Google, Facebook and Netflix
Without strong rules, companies such as Eventbrite and Vimeo say, Internet Providers May Have Anticompetitive Behavior That Harms Smaller Online Companies and Limits Consumer Choice  The fight in California has become so intense that some residents of the country have reported receiving robocalls to warn them that the legislation could lead to an increase in their internet bills. In June, the measure appeared to have a sudden snag as a main committee of the Assembly decided to cancel its hardest language – provisions which were re-established two weeks later under pressure from activists.
Net neutrality activists cited their legislative victory on Friday as confirmation of their congressional strategy: pressure on vulnerable federal legislators, who are running for reelection this year, to support stronger net neutrality rules at national level.
"Internet users are still royally angry over the lifting of the FCC," said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, a consumer advocacy group. "They are still watching and they will not let their elected officials get away with selling their voters by hiring big telecom companies."