California’s Days-Old Net Neutrality Law in Hot Waters As Internet Industry Files A Lawsuit

It’s been only a few days when California was rejoicing over its net neutrality law. Now it looks like that the happiness was short-lived as the internet industry is taking a legal action against the state of California.

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California Days
Internet Industry To File Lawsuit Against Net Neutrality Bill Passed By California

The litigation that was filed on Wednesday by major trading groups in lieu of broadband companies is the second major litigation filed against the state regarding the law while the first one being filed by the Justice Department.

Californian Governor Jerry Brown passed the strictest net neutrality law in the country on Sunday evening. As per the law, internet service providers do not own any kind of authority to slow or block specific types of applications or content, or charge company’s fees or charge apps for faster access to customers.

After a few days, the federal government filed a litigation alleging that California “attempted to subvert the Federal Government’s deregulatory approach” to the internet. The DOJ claimed that since the broadband services cross state lines, the states cannot pass their own laws governing internet companies.

It is challenging the state over a clause in the 2017 annulling Obama-era centralized net neutrality protections. In that case, the FCC revealed that it could forestall state-level net neutrality laws.

In case California wins this case in court, it would open the floodgates of opportunities for those states that aim in taking similar actions. Though the FCC would come back with a counter to block their efforts once again, stated Lyons.

Lyons further explained that California will possibly call anticipation provision as invalid, as the federal government will certainly make an effort to get a sanction against the law.

Telecommunications Attorney Pantelis Michalopoulos, a partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP who has argued net neutrality cases said, “These attempts at getting a preliminary injunction to seem weak and are likely to fail for the same reasons that the Internet Service Provider [ISP] industry was unable to obtain a stay of the FCC’s former net neutrality rules in 2015.”

“The Internet Service Providers offer speculative theories about why they will suffer irreparable injury. These theories do not appear to satisfy the test for a preliminary injunction.”

The firms taking part in the lawsuit represent major companies including Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast, as well as few other wireless providers and cable companies across the U.S.

The trade groups USTelecom, CTIA — The Wireless Association, The Internet & Television Association, and the American Cable Association said in a statement, “We oppose California’s action to regulate internet access because it threatens to negatively affect services for millions of consumers and harm new investment and economic growth. Republican and Democratic administrations, time and again, have embraced the notion that actions like this are preempted by federal law.”

“We will continue our work to ensure Congress adopts bipartisan legislation to create a permanent framework for protecting the open internet that consumers expect and deserve.”

The statement released by Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Wednesday afternoon hinted that state would fight to protect its new law.

“This suit was brought by power brokers who have an obvious financial interest in maintaining their stronghold on the public’s access to online content. California, the country’s economic engine, has the right to exercise its sovereign powers under the Constitution and we will do everything we can to protect the right of our 40 million consumers to access information by defending a free and open Internet,” Becerra said in a statement.

After the trade groups filed their suit Wiener said, “The internet service providers have every right to sue California, just like California has every right—indeed an obligation—to protect our residents’ access to an open internet.”

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