California Senate Passes Gold Standard Net Neutrality Bill Despite Fierce Lobbying From ISPs

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Above Photo: From Tumblr.fightforthefuture.org

SACRAMENTO –– The California State Senate just voted 23-12 to pass SB 822, the strongest and most comprehensive state level net neutrality legislation in the country. The bill passed despite fierce lobbying from big ISPs like AT&T and Comcast, who laid siege to Sacramento with an army of contract lobbyists and flooded the Capitol with misinformation in an all out attempt to kill the bill.

Fight for the Future, a leading digital rights group with more than 350,000 members in California, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to Deputy Director Evan Greer (pronouns: she/her):

“Internet users are furious about the FCC’s disastrous repeal of net neutrality, and they’re mobilizing en masse to get it back by any means necessary. Today the California State Senate read the writing on the wall, sided with the public, and voted to defy Ajit Pai and enact strong protections against ISP censorship and abuse.

Giant telecom companies like AT&T and Comcast hired up dozens of lobbyists in Sacramento and shamelessly spread provably false claims in an attempt to stop SB 822. They failed.

This victory in California shows that net neutrality is here to stay. It’s time for our Federal lawmakers in the House of Representatives to follow the lead of the US Senate and California State Senate, listen to their constituents, tech experts, and small business owners, and vote for the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to restore open Internet protections for all.”

SB 822 passed in large part due to mass mobilization by California residents in support of net neutrality. The bill heads next to the State Assembly, where it will likely get a vote early this Fall.

-More than 53,000 California residents sent letters to the Senate Energy committee calling on them to advance SB 822

-Nearly 200 small businesses in California have signed on to open letters here and here.

-Dozens of public interest groups like Fight for the Future, Color of Change, Greenpeace, Consumers Union, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, CREDO, and Daily Kos signed on to a letter calling on Committee Chair Ben Hueso to advance SB 822.

-Former FCC Commissioners Tom Wheeler, Michael Copps, and Gloria Tristani sent a letter to Senator Hueso in support of SB 822.

-The mayors of San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Oakland, and Emeryville sent a letter in support of the bill.

-A group of 60 startups and high tech companies also signed a letter supporting SB 822.