California will soon implement its own net neutrality law after a judge’s ruling.
U.S. Judge John Mendez, of the Eastern District of California, denied a motion for a preliminary injunction from a group of internet service providers that sought to halt the enforcement of the law on Tuesday. The ruling will allow the state to begin enforcing the rule soon, according to the state attorney general, Xavier Becerra.
“We applaud the Court for affirming that California has the power to protect access to the internet, and that net neutrality is vital for healthcare, education, public safety and economic growth. This is an important victory for all Californians and for our democracy,” Becerra said in a statement. “The ability of an internet service provider to block, slow down or speed up content based on a user’s ability to pay for service degrades the very idea of a competitive marketplace and the open transfer of information at the core of our increasingly digital and connected world.”
The lawsuit was filed by four groups, which said in a joint statement, “A state-by-state approach to Internet regulation will confuse consumers and deter network investment, just as the importance of broadband for all has never been more apparent,” according to Reuters.
Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers should treat all data on the internet the same and not discriminate or charge differently based on where it’s coming from or to whom it’s going.
In 2018, California’s state Legislature voted to create its own net neutrality law after former Republican Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, in 2017, repealed the Obama-era net neutrality rules. Earlier this month, President Biden’s Justice Department withdrew a 2018 lawsuit challenging California’s state net neutrality law that the Trump administration attempted to block, giving a victory to state legislators and liberal internet activists.