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California’s Net Neutrality Law Remains in Effect During Ongoing Challenge

  • California AG Rob Bonta obtained a decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in ACA Connects, et al. v. Bonta, No. 21-15430, upholding California’s ability to enforce its net neutrality law while it is the subject of ongoing litigation.
  • The Ninth Circuit’s opinion upheld a ruling by the Eastern District of California denying a motion for preliminary injunction brought by trade associations for broadband Internet providers to block enforcement of the law, known as SB-822, which banned Internet service providers from engaging in practices such as paid prioritization, blocking or throttling content, and zero-rating content in bundled streaming services, among other things.
  • The Ninth Circuit’s opinion held that, among other things, SB-822 was not preempted by federal authority because it did not conflict with the Federal Communications Act. The opinion also noted that the FCC no longer has the authority to regulate broadband Internet services because it has reclassified them as information services.