A US federal judge declined opposition to the law that aims to prevent telecom giants from favoring their own services and blocking or slowing down rival services
A US federal judge has cleared the way for enforcement of a net neutrality law in California. The law opposed by the US telecom titans. The judge turned down cable and telecom service companies' request to stop its implementation. The law is intended to prevent them from favoring their own services and blocking or slowing rival services like Netflix.
An alliance of telecom firms had sued California, arguing the state overstepped its jurisdiction in passing the law since such regulatory power is vested with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The judge refused to issue a preliminary injunction to stop the law from being enforced while the case works its way through the Court.
"When the FCC, over my objection, rolled back its #net neutrality policies, states like California sought to fill the void with their own laws," FCC acting chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a tweet.
Ajit Pai, Rosenworcel's predecessor, had quit as the FCC chairman when President Joe Biden took office. Pai's stance as the FCC chairman was viewed as pro-industry. It had directly impacted the raging net neutrality issue as it had left the telecommunications firms free to block or throttle traffic.
FCC under Pai as chair had scrapped a 2015 order aimed at forcing broadband firms to treat all online traffic equally. Backers of net neutrality argue the rules, which were challenged in court, prevented powerful internet providers like Comcast and ATT from shutting out rival services and creating fast and slow lanes for online data.
Opponents of the net neutrality law, however, argued that such rules were a heavy-handed effort to reclassify internet providers as utilities, which could discourage investment in the fast-evolving sector.
The federal Justice Department early this month withdrew a lawsuit filed during the previous Trump administration, challenging the legality of the Californian law.