September 26, 2018

California’s Fight For Net Neutrality

Jerry Brown has six days to protect California’s most iconic industry

by Chris Thomas

Update (9/30/2018): Governor Brown signed SB-822 into law, formally declaring Net Neutrality in California.

At the time of this writing SB-822 — California’s Net Neutrality bill — sits, unsigned, on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk. If Brown intends to veto it, he must do so by September 30 or the bill will become law without his signature.

California is one of the several states which drafted its own Net Neutrality legislation following the FCC’s abdication of its responsibility to protect the internet as a public good.

For a policy as popular as Net Neutrality is, the fight to protect it has been an uphill one. Thirty states have attempted to enact some kind of network neutrality legislation and, of those, just three have been able to get a measure through the state legislature: Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Six other states have accomplished Net Neutrality by executive order, but a new governor can reverse that order as easily as it was made.

Why this matters

While four out of fifty states isn’t much better than three out of fifty, California is, of course, in a class of its own. About one in eight Americans live in the Golden State and it boasts a GDP higher than all but six countries on earth.

Key to that staggering GDP is California’s vibrant tech sector. Technology icons like Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon (and Resistbot) are headquartered out of Silicon Valley and they live and die by access to the internet. Indeed, the explosive growth in California’s technology sector can be traced directly back the state’s abundance of technology and communications experts and the advantages that gave it the technological meritocracy that defined the online economy in the 1990s and early 2000s. Continued growth, rather than stagnation, in the digital economy depends on California’s equal, neutral access to the internet.

Tell Your Government What You Think

If you live in California you can use Resistbot to tell Jerry Brown what you think he should do with SB-822. If you’re not in the Golden State, you can always tell your governor to follow California’s lead. Just send the word governor to Resistbot on Facebook Messenger, Telegram, or as a Twitter direct message and the ‘bot will walk you through sending a letter to your governor’s office. If none of those work for you, Resistbot also supports old fashioned SMS: text governor to 50409 to get started. It takes 2 minutes to make a difference.

More on Net Neutrality

Want to learn more about Net Neutrality and the fight to save it? Check out these articles from the Resistbot archives.

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