back to article Super Cali's unrealistic net neutrality process – even though the sound of it is something quite... ferocious

California's attempt to retain net neutrality rules despite being repealed at the federal level, won't make it past a legal challenge, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has warned. Earlier this week, the California Senate passed SB460, which is legislation that would reimpose open-internet rules agreed to by the federal …

  1. Kev99

    I just want the FCC to enforce its rules on what broadband is. Frontier Communications seems to think speeds as low as 768 kbps are broadband. Plus, they refuse to tap into the fed's grant pool to make true broadband available.

    1. Donn Bly

      Technically, if their service uses more than one channel or frequency and multiplexes them together, then it IS broadband -- because the true, TECHNICAL definition of broadband doesn't define speeds.

      Now the current FCC definition does define speeds, but that definition was created by politicians who are ignorant of technology. Previous definitions of broadband from the FCC have been everything from 256KB symmetrical, to "Anything that is always on and faster than dialup". I read somewhere that they are trying to change the FCC definition again to reflect regional use as opposed to national use. You can't base policy on shifting sands.

    2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

      In fairness, you're using something called "Frontier Communications." Consider yourself lucky your packets aren't carried by pony!

      1. John Gamble

        Despite the joke icon, you're not far from the mark. Much of Frontier's network contains the networks dropped from GTE and Bell Atlantic (the rural ones) after they merged to form Verizon.

        So it tends to serve the remote and out-of-the-way locations.

        1. s2bu


          And their old GTD-5 EAX Class 5 phone switch that its still in use is a bloody abomination!

  2. HildyJ Silver badge

    Another club

    Cali can restrict state telecommunications contracts to telecom carriers that operate under the old net neutrality laws. Their AG could also look into the possibility of voiding existing contracts with carriers who switch to operating under the new laws.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Another club

      But unlike more rural states the government doesn't make up a large percentage of business in California.

      It can use the permitting process to slow them down - there is nothing illegal in taking years and demanding hundreds of rounds of public consultation for each utility box.

      But it is most likely to use its allies in silicon valley and SF, Google/Apple/Facebook/Netflix want to keep net neutrality and the state can assist them in wiping out the cable companies

  3. Someone Else Silver badge

    OK, Reg headline writers...

    Enough! Just bloody...enough!

    1. Alistair

      Re: OK, Reg headline writers...

      @Someone Else:

      It is friday at the Reg offices. - I rather suspect some weeks that there is a post (lunch) pub showing of Mary Poppins in the office, on the multiple 75" LED screens, at full volume, with all encouraged to join in the singing...

  4. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Federal and State Law

    Given the depth of government interference in our everyday lives nowadays, it is surely possible for any legislative body to enforce any behaviour they want by roundabout means, even if that behaviour is directly banned.

    As a tongue-in-cheek instance, if a State were to decide that guns are to be made illegal, a Fedral government could pass a law saying that you could not own a car unless you owned a gun, or some other such requirement.

    Given that this tit-for-tat possibility exists, there must be some legal process for addressing it - otherwise parts of the country run by different parties would forever be sniping at each other. In this case, is there no facility for the Federal Government to claim that specifying net neutrality as part of the license requirements to use public utility connections is tantamount to a State striking down a Federal law...?

    1. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: Federal and State Law

      Not so tongue in cheek. There's a movement to force all states to honor concealed-carry permits issued in any state. This could revitalize the economy in some states.

    2. Claptrap314 Silver badge

      Re: Federal and State Law

      The Supremacy clause in the US Constitution was specifically written to address this issue. Judges (including State judges) are required to follow (constitutional) acts by the Federal government over those of the individual State. The reality, sadly, is murkier. Activist judges routinely pick and choose which precedents to follow (some from outside the US), or just ignore precedent entirely. So sometimes a State act will prevail because a judge invents a constitutional problem with a Federal act. (Of course, problematic Federal acts, such as the existences of Federal parks, are common.)

      Concealed carry reciprocation is more complicated. The Full Faith and Credit clause is being invoked, and properly so, but it has limits. States have the right to refuse FF&C by taking positive steps. Recall when lotteries were spreading? Alabama passed a lottery, Mississippi did not. Mississippi passed a law forbidding their citizens from purchasing lottery tickets. Did Mississippi then sue Alabama to require them to enforce the ban citing FF&C? If they did, I did not hear about it. Why? Because FF&C cannot be used to obliterate the sovereignty of one State by another, and this would have done so.

      In the case of CC, however, it gets more complicated, due to our famed Second Amendment. The Federal right to bear arms is what is being exercised, and concealment is a detail. Fun times.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Federal and State Law

      "Given the depth of government interference in our everyday lives nowadays, it is surely possible for any legislative body to enforce any behaviour they want by roundabout means, even if that behaviour is directly banned."

      Governmentium. Always increases in mass. Nearly always in the way. It's why DE-regulation helps in the long run.

      Don't forget the politicians with their hands out at election time. You often get what you pay for...

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Federal and State Law

        "Nearly always in the way. It's why DE-regulation helps in the long run."

        Oh? Remember the Gilded Age? The 90's when deregulation was all the rage yet bills went UP?

  5. jake Silver badge

    It's not supposed to make it past a challange, silly!

    The only reason SB640 exists at all is to remind the Trump administration that "the out of control State of California" doesn't really give a shit about anything the Trump administration has to say on any subject whatsoever. It's designed to get the .fed flailing around even more uselessly, and looking even stupider than normal. Personally, as a citizen of said State, I find it absolutely hysterical :-)

    1. Eddy Ito

      Re: It's not supposed to make it past a challange, silly!

      Yep, as always they're spending our tax dollars on political posturing rather than fixing all the truly broken things in this state. Plus ça change.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: It's not supposed to make it past a challange, silly!

      "the out of control State of California"

      Yeah, I have to live with that. for now. unless I get tired of paying the "coastline tax" and "sunshine tax" and move to another state, out of sheer frustration, and TAKE! MY! BUSINESS! WITH! ME!!

      there's an election coming up. I hear good things about one particular candidate for governor. let's see what happens in November.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: It's not supposed to make it past a challange, silly!

        ""the out of control State of California""

        I beg your pardon, but before modern automobile emissions regulations kicked in nationwide, California happened to be the trendsetter because Los Angeles County's geography made pollution a particular concern. Remember "California Emissions"?

        1. Eddy Ito

          Re: It's not supposed to make it past a challange, silly!

          Definitely out of control. Have you seen the state of CalPERS lately? It's looking more and more like a black hole that's eventually going to suck every dollar from the state.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet Pai should explain while light touch regulation...

    ... applies to telcos but not States, where it becomes heavy handed.

    We know the unspeakable answer, but it would hard to explain while the FCC feels it can't regulate telcos but feel the needs to regulate States. FCC lifted regulations, so how can it enforce a lack of regulation? It would need to explicitly state that ISP have a lawful right to prioritize and tax traffic based on source and content. Then it would be interesting to see how such regulation stands in front of some fundamental rights and others.

  7. Christoph

    There's often complaints about people regarding everything on the net as free. With the end of net neutrality that will soon change - Americans will find that for everything on the net they have to pay through the nose.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      "they have to pay through the nose"

      'teh intarwebs' has been around (commercially) since the early 90's. only under Obaka was it regulated by the FCC for "net neutrality". How come we didn't ALREADY "pay through the nose" ???

      if history is the judge, 'teh intarwebs' does VERY well when de-regulated.

  8. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    The Feds are going to have a hell of a time justifying preventing state & local governments from attaching regulations to all the sweetheart deals the cables have had. Hopefully, this will be a stretch too far--but somehow I doubt it.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Not even with the Sherman Act?

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