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Bay Area Lawmaker To Introduce Bill Requiring Net Neutrality In California

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- California state Sen. Scott Wiener vowed Thursday to introduce a bill that would require net neutrality in California.

Following the Federal Communication Commission's repeal of net neutrality Thursday, Wiener (D-San Francisco) wrote on a Medium post:

"There are several ways we can bring net neutrality to California. California can regulate business practices to require net neutrality, condition state contracts on adhering to net neutrality, and require net neutrality as part of cable franchise agreements, as a condition to using the public right-of-way for internet infrastructure, and in broadband packages."

Net neutrality, a principle that Internet service providers should provide equal access to web content, has been fiercely championed by tech entrepreneurs.

Wiener said he is working with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union on crafting a bill and said they "are exploring all of these options and welcome additional ideas as we work over the next 60 days to craft the bill and formally introduce it."

Wiener said on Twitter Thursday morning, '"If the FCC won't protect free/open internet, we will. Net neutrality is key to protecting our democracy, esp in this authoritarian age."

But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Thursday that repealing net neutrality "is not going to destroy the Internet. It is not going to end the internet as we know it. It is not going to kill democracy."

Pai maintains that the repeal of net neutrality will help consumers and promote competition, saying "broadband providers will have stronger incentive to build networks, especially in unserved areas."

Following the repeal Thursday, Washington state also announced plans to fight back against the FCC's decision.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced his intentions to file a legal challenge against the FCC, claiming the federal government violated the Administrative Procedure Act.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says he will sue to stop the rollback of net neutrality. Schneiderman called the rollback "an early Christmas gift to big telecom companies" and enable Internet service providers to favor certain viewpoints over others.

By Hannah Albarazi - Follow her on Twitter: @hannahalbarazi.

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