Federal Court of Appeals upholds California’s net neutrality law

Deepak Gupta January 29, 2022
Updated 2022/01/29 at 5:26 PM

A federal appeals court voted unanimously on Friday to uphold California’s decision. reports On the edge. A year after the Federal Communications Commission applied nationwide, the state passed its own set of laws. These rules prevented ISPs from blocking as well as limiting selected websites and services. However, California could enforce these laws due to 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 Department of Justice. Later that same month, a federal judge in a separate case involving several commercial telecommunications groups. This week’s decision stands by that decision.

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

The four business groups behind the original lawsuit — American Cable Association, CTIA, National Cable and Telecommunications Association and USTelecom — said they were “disappointed” with the decision and that they plan to review their options. “Again, a piecemeal approach to this issue is unsustainable and Congress must 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 could come soon. Next week, the Senate Commerce Committee will decide whether to advance Gigi Sohn’s nomination to a full Senate vote. President Biden chose Sohn to fill the last vacant FCC commissioner seat. His confirmation would give the Democrats a three-to-two lead over the FCC, allowing him to advance the president’s telecommunications-related policies.

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