Federal appeals court upholds California net neutrality law

A federal appeals court voted unanimously Friday to keep California reports The edge. One year after the Federal Communications Commission that applied nationally, the state passed its own set of laws. These rules prohibited Internet service providers from blocking, as well as limiting certain websites and services. However, California could these laws because of two separate legal challenges.

The first came from the Department of Justice. Under former President Donald Trump, the agency sued the state, arguing that its laws were preempted by the FCC’s Obama-era repeal. . In February 2021, the Ministry of Justice . Later that same month, a federal judge in a separate lawsuit involving several commercial telecommunications groups. This week’s decision upholds that decision.

In its ruling, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said the lower court had “properly dismissed” the preliminary injunction brought against California by the telecommunications industry. He said the FCC “no longer has the authority” to regulate internet services as it did when it previously classified them as telecommunications services. “The agency therefore cannot anticipate state action, such as SB-822, that protects net neutrality,” the court said.

The four trade groups behind the original lawsuit – the American Cable Association, the CTIA, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and USTelecom – said they were “disappointed” by the ruling and planned to review their options. “Once again, a piecemeal approach to this issue is untenable, and Congress should codify national rules for an open internet once and for all,” the groups said. .

After months of stalemate at the FCC, federal action on net neutrality may be coming soon. Next week, the Senate Commerce Committee will decide whether to move forward The appointment of Gigi Sohn by a full vote of the Senate. President Biden has chosen Sohn to fill the last empty commissioner seat at the FCC. His confirmation would give Democrats a three-to-two advantage over the FCC, allowing it to advance the president’s telecommunications policies.

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