Coalition Delivers 90,000 Signatures to Governor Brown for Net Neutrality Bill (SB 822)

* Statements from Ten Coalition Partners Who Helped Gather Them Urge Governor Brown to Sign.

By Press Release
California Clean Money Action Fund, September 27th, 2018

SB 822, authored by Senators Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), 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.

The petitions were gathered on petitions hosted by the California Clean Money Action Fund (a coalition petition with 19 sponsors), Center for Media Justice, Consumers Union, Courage Campaign, CREDO, Daily Kos (a coalition petition with 13 sponsors), Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Fight for the Future, with some gathered on paper petitions by California Clean Money Campaign volunteers.

"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."

"Our democracy relies on an Internet where information is free and accessible. SB 822 enshrines these principles and fully restores popular net neutrality protections the Federal Communications Commission struck down last year," said Nicolas Heidorn, Policy Director of California Common Cause. "That's why Common Cause urges Governor Brown to sign SB 822."

"On Governor Jerry Brown's desk is yet the latest opportunity to oppose the undemocratic agenda of the Trump administration. By signing SB 822 into law, Governor Brown will deliver the strongest Net Neutrality protections ever afforded to Californians and keep the Internet a platform where everyone's voices are treated equally," said Steven Renderos, Campaign Director of the Center for Media Justice. "For communities living at the margins, the Internet is a vital tool in our struggle for civil rights and economic equity. We urge Governor Brown to act with haste and sign SB 822."

"California's net neutrality legislation restores critical consumer protections that will ensure the internet returns to what we have known it to be for years - an open marketplace where every voice has the opportunity to be heard. With the repeal of federal net neutrality rules in full effect, time is of the essence," said Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports. "We urge Governor Brown to swiftly sign SB822 into law and send a powerful message that net neutrality is here to stay."

"With the strongest net neutrality legislation in the country, California is leading 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,", said Eddie Kurtz, Executive Director of Courage Campaign. "We expect Governor Brown to show similar leadership and swiftly sign this legislation into law."

"When Trump's FCC gave up its role in defending internet users in favor of enriching Big Telecom, Californians stepped up to protect the future of the internet," said Brandy Doyle, Campaign Manager of CREDO Action. "Net neutrality is a priority for Californians. It's time for Gov. Brown to stand with us in fighting back against the Trump FCC's attack on the open internet and sign SB 822 into law."

"Saving net neutrality is a vital issue that impacts all aspects of Americans' daily lives. A free and open internet provides critical access to education resources, news and information, community empowerment tools, and so much more," said Carolyn Fiddler, Communications Director of Daily Kos. "Signing SB 822 into law is the right thing for Gov. Brown to do, and it will provide a crucial template for other states to follow in the effort to remedy the damage done to internet fairness by the Trump administration."

"SB 822 is the gold standard of state net neutrality protections, helping to secure a free and open Internet for Californians,", said Katharine Trendacosta, Policy Analyst of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Net neutrality drives innovation and protects speech, and that is why it must be defended and why we're asking Governor Brown to sign it to lead the nation."

"Defending net neutrality is the free speech fight of our generation,", said Evan Greer, Deputy Director of Fight for the Future. "SB 822 passed the legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support, despite fierce lobbying from the telecom industry. California has a chance to lead the charge to restore the free and open Internet for the entire country. Governor Brown should sign this bill and then every other state should follow suit."

"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. 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," said Sandra Fluke, California State and Western Region Director of Voices for Progress. "Voices for Progress members strongly urge Governor Brown to sign SB 822 so that every entrepreneur has an equal opportunity to create their own success."

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