Internet provider groups sue over California net neutrality rules

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is the defendant in the industry lawsuit

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is the defendant in the industry lawsuit

"Republican and Democratic administrations, time and again, have embraced the notion that actions like this are preempted by federal law". California argues that the FCC gave up its authority to regulate broadband and therefore can not preempt states from regulating the industry.

The associations are seeking to invalidate California's new law and prohibit the state from enforcing it.

The cooperative lawsuits between the Trump DOJ and numerous ISP lobbying organizations gives you a pretty solid understanding of how anxious the industry is about California's new law, which largely just reflects the 2015 FCC rules industry spent millions of dollars to repeal. But the U.S. Department of Justice argues that it creates burdensome, anti-consumer requirements that go against the federal government's approach of deregulating the internet.

Other legal analysts said that it was likely the industry suit would be merged with the Justice Department's challenge, and that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California might issue an injunction against the state law until a number of other suits involving net neutrality are resolved. Once again the California legislature has enacted an extreme and illegal state law attempting to frustrate federal policy. Between them, the organizations represent virtually every company that provides internet or TV, whether wired or wireless, in the US.

But the industry suit expands the attack on California's law, known as SB-822, by asserting that it seeks to regulate Internet providers beyond state lines, in violation of the Constitution.

"This is already happening; while California has been at the forefront of these efforts, several other states have adopted or are in the process of adopting different and incongruous net neutrality requirements, which are consistent only in their disregard for the primacy of federal law", the trade groups argue.

The lawsuit was filed by the CTIA, a trade group representing the wireless industry; the NCTA, a cable industry lobbyist; USTelecom, which represents internet providers, and the ACA, which represents smaller cable companies.

The new California state law prohibits Internet service providers from blocking or throttling lawful traffic and from requiring fees from websites or online services to deliver or prioritize their traffic to consumers. That order also contains a provision overriding any state laws.

Sen. Weiner and other legislators worked with the office of the state attorney general - who has been tasked with the evaluation of those who may try to evade these new rules - to ensure that SB 822 is defensible in court, both against telecom giants like Comcast and Verizon, and the federal government.

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