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California's net neutrality legislation met with DOJ lawsuit

California's net neutrality legislation met with DOJ lawsuit

October 1, 2018 | By Alissa McAloon

California has enacted a law that offered what the state called “the strongest net neutrality protections in the nation,” but the Department of Justice is arguing that the state doesn’t have the right to regulate net neutrality.

California Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into Law on Sunday, reports PCGamer, and the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit within a matter of hours.

On its own, the California net neutrality law bars internet service providers (ISPs) from limiting bandwidth for or outright blocking individual websites or media types, in addition to preventing those ISPs from charging additional fees for better speeds for different sites or applications. 

However, in a statement issued by the Department of Justice, Attorney General Jeff Sessions says that, under the Constitution, “states do not regulate interstate commerce—the federal government does. Once again the California legislature has enacted an extreme and illegal state law attempting to frustrate federal policy.”

In the same press release, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (notably the man who spearheaded the repeal of nation-wide net neutrality protections earlier this year) said he was "pleased the Department of Justice has filed this suit" and calls the law illegal and anti-consumer.

"The law prohibits many free-data plans, which allow consumers to stream video, music, and the like exempt from any data limits," continued Pai. "They have proven enormously popular in the marketplace, especially among lower-income Americans. But notwithstanding the consumer benefits, this state law bans them."

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