Calif. weighs toughest net neutrality law in US—with ban on paid zero-rating

Enlarge / California State Capitol building in Sacramento. (credit: Getty Images | joe chan photography)

A proposed net neutrality law in California would replace the repealed federal regulations, going beyond the federal rules by banning payments for data cap exemptions. If passed, the bill would ban AT&T's Sponsored Data, Verizon's "FreeBee" data, and any similar programs imposed by home or mobile Internet providers.

The bill would also try to prevent interconnection payment disputes that harm Internet service quality—such as those between Netflix and major ISPs in 2013 and 2014.

The legislation "is the first state-level bill that would comprehensively secure all of the net neutrality protections that Americans currently enjoy," according to Stanford law professor Barbara van Schewick. (The Federal Communications Commission repeal hasn't taken effect yet.)

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