Net neutrality is back! This is a principle of Internet traffic that states that internet service providers (ISPs) must treat all websites equally when delivering them to users.
The Trump administration was not a fan of net neutrality and blocked the law by suing in federal court. The Biden administration dropped that lawsuit and the ISPs requested an injunction, meaning that they wanted net neutrality to NOT be allowed while they fought it out in court. We know, there are a lot of double negatives when talking about net neutrality. Sorry.
A judge on Tuesday declined this request, meaning California CAN enforce net neutrality now. Of course, this is just one state but it also happens to be the state with a lot of power over the web. It means that in California at least, no content can be slowed down in favor of other content. No websites can get priority access to the fast lane. We should all have equal access to the Web.
The telecom industries obviously don’t like net neutrality because they benefit from charging for better access to certain users. They released a joint statement saying that they will review this and decide on next steps but they want to take this to federal court so that there are nation-wide laws about net neutrality.
“A state-by-state approach to Internet regulation will confuse consumers and deter innovation, just as the importance of broadband for all has never been more apparent,” said the statement.
The FCC did have federal net neutrality rules but rolled them back under the Trump administration. In 2018, Democrats introduced a net neutrality bill but it was not supported. This effort is likely to have another go-round now that Democrats hold power in Washington.