Legislators and Advocates Call on Governor to Sign Senator Wiener’s SB 822, Which Will Enact the Strongest Net Neutrality Protections in the Nation

September 6, 2018

Los Angeles– Today, legislators and advocates gathered at the Ronald Raegan State Building to urge Governor Brown to sign Senate Bill 822, which would enact the strongest net neutrality protections in the country.

At the press conference, author Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and co-author Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) were joined by Sandra Fluke, California State & Western Region Director for Voices for Progress, Trent Lange, President & Executive Director for California Clean Money Campaign, Mary Lizardi, Senior Campaign Manager for the Courage Campaign, and other advocates.

SB 822 passed the Legislature last week, and is heading to the Governor for his approval. The Governor has until September 30th to sign or veto the bill.

“We must protect the right of every Californian to a free and open internet,” said Senator Wiener. “Our broad, grassroots coalition of labor, small business, start-up, consumer, and progressive activists powered SB 822 through the Legislature. The internet is at the heart of 21st century life - our economy, our public safety and health systems, and our democracy. When Donald Trump’s FCC took a wrecking ball to net neutrality protections, we knew California had to step in to protect California consumers and businesses. We worked hard to pass a strong bill that does the job. We urge the Governor to sign it.”

“SB 822 is a crucial step toward ensuring that we have a free and open internet that doesn’t discriminate or price users or content differently,” said Assemblymember Santiago. “I urge Governor Brown to once again have California lead the nation by signing the strongest net neutrality bill in the country. California must lead by example and show the Trump Administration that their backward agenda will not be accepted.”

SB 822 prohibits blocking websites, speeding up or slowing down websites or whole classes of applications such as video. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are prohibited from circumventing these protections at the point where data enters their networks and from charging access fees to reach ISP customers. SB 822 also bans ISPs from violating net neutrality by not counting the content and websites they own against subscribers’ data caps. This kind of abusive and anti-competitive “zero rating,” which leads to lower data caps for everyone, would be prohibited, while “zero-rating” plans that don’t harm consumers are allowed.

"Voices for Progress members are business owners, entrepreneurs, and others who believe the best ideas come forward when competition is not stifled online and everyone has a chance to compete on a fair playing field,” said Sandra Fluke, California State & Western Region Director for Voices for Progress. “That's what allowed many of them to create thriving businesses at the top levels in their fields, and they want that opportunity for others. The net neutrality protections contained in senate bill 822 will allow small businesses and start-up companies to compete online against deep-pocketed, well-established companies who would otherwise have a tremendously unfair advantage. Voices for Progress members strongly urge Governor Brown to sign senate bill 822 so that every entrepreneur has an equal opportunity to create their own success."

“We applaud the leadership of Sen. Scott Wiener, Sen. Kevin de Leon, Asm. Rob Bonta, and Asm. Miguel Santiago and the rest of the California legislature for their courageous stand against some of the largest, wealthiest, and most powerful companies in the country -- AT&T, Comcast and Verizon -- and voting to pass the most powerful Net Neutrality legislation in the country," said Eddie Kurtz, executive director of the California-based Courage campaign. “With the strongest net neutrality legislation in the country, California now leads the way in guaranteeing access to the internet for all. Protecting access to the internet and the free flow of information online is critical to our democracy and this bill is an important first step to reinstating net neutrality across America.”

“The Federal Communications Commission is abdicating its responsibility to enforce net neutrality, so California has no choice but to act to ensure that the internet remains a free and open space for speech, commerce, and association,” said Trent Lange, President of the California Clean Money Campaign, and a PhD in Computer Science.  “That’s why a coalition of hundreds of state and national public interest, consumer, labor, and progressive organizations have teamed up with small businesses and internet startups to ask Governor Brown to sign SB 822 to protect California and to lead the nation.”

SB 822 is supported by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Ro Khanna, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, former Obama FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and a broad coalition of state leaders, public interest groups, labor organizations, social justice advocates, small businesses, start-ups, internet service providers, California mayors and local governments, and tens of thousands of California residents.

Senator Wiener and Senator de León are joint authors of SB 822, and Assemblymembers Santiago and Bonta are co-authors. SB 822 is also co-authored by Senators Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), Bill Dodd (D-Napa), Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), Connie Leyva (D-Chino), Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), Bill Monning (D-Carmel) and Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), and Assemblymembers Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside), David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), Monique Limon (D-Santa Barbara), Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco), Adrin Nazarian (D- North Hollywood), Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay), Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), and Jim Wood (D- Santa Rosa).

SB 822 Bill text: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB822