Telecom groups drop challenge
Groups representing the telecommunications industry reached an agreement with California Attorney General Rob Bonta to dismiss their case and allow the state’s net neutrality law to remain in place unchallenged.
“With this victory, we’ve secured a free and open internet for California’s 40 million residents once and for all,” Bonta said in a statement.
The law was signed in 2018 and went into effect in the most populous state in the U.S. last year after officials in the Trump administration did away with federal net neutrality rules, prompting California and six other states plus Puerto Rico to adopt their own. They prevent internet providers from throttling speeds.
In the absence of such rules, internet providers routinely slow or block websites and streaming services that do not pay them a premium for faster access. The Trump administration filed a lawsuit to block California’s law, but the Biden administration dropped it upon taking over. Now the internet providers themselves have yielded. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the law to take effect. The internet providers saw judges thwart their injunction attempt three times.
“Following multiple defeats in court, internet service providers have abandoned this effort to block enforcement of California’s net neutrality law,” Bonta said.
On the federal level, the FCC is deadlocked 2-2 as to whether to reinstate net neutrality rules, which the commission first adopted in 2015 under the Obama administration and reversed in 2017. President Joe Biden’s nominee for the fifth and tie-breaking seat, Gigi Sohn, has not received Senate confirmation and the seat has been vacant since Biden’s accession to the presidency.
Sohn played a large role in the FCC’s original adoption of the rules under Obama and would be a lock to vote to reinstate net neutrality on a nationwide level if given the chance.