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Scott Wiener
State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, at the Capitol, Thursday, April 20, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

A California state lawmaker proposed statewide net neutrality laws


California state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) on Thursday proposed state-wide net neutrality laws following the repeal of such rules at the national level.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier that day voted 3-2 to end America’s net neutrality regulations, which said internet service providers must treat all web traffic equally.

“If the FCC won’t stand up for a free and open internet, California will,” Wiener wrote in a post on Medium.

“There are several ways we can bring net neutrality requirements to California,” he continued.

“California can regulate business practices to require net neutrality, condition state contracts on adhering to net neutrality, and require net neutrality as part of cable franchise agreements, as a condition to using the public right-of-way for internet infrastructure, and in broadband packages.”

Wiener noted he would spend the next 60 days working on draft legislation to formally introduce to the California State Legislature in January.

The California Democrat added he is taking action on the issue as the FCC had taken “a terrible step for the future of a free and open internet and for our democracy.”

“We can’t have an Internet that favors access for those who don’t pay to boost their web traffic or, worse, that blocks websites because they aren’t willing to shell out money,” Wiener said.

“That is not what our democracy is about, and it shouldn’t be how or internet works,” he added.

Thursday’s FCC vote occurred along party lines, with the agency’s two Democratic commissioners getting outvoted by their GOP counterparts and Chairman Ajit Pai (R).

Former President Barack Obama’s administration implemented the controversial regulations in 2015.

The rules prohibited internet service providers from blocking, throttling, or favoring certain content or creating online “fast lanes.”

Critics of the restrictions argued that they were heavy-handed government overreach stifling investment and innovation online.

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