Attorney Gen. Xavier Becerra said he would temporarily delay implementation of the new law, which seeks to restore Obama-era open internet rules, until the legal dispute is resolved. The federal government sued California in the U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing the state lacks authority to regulate broadband access.
“I very much want to see California’s net neutrality law go into effect immediately, in order to protect access to the internet,” said Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who authored the new law. “Yet, I also understand and support the Attorney General’s rationale for allowing the DC Circuit appeal to be resolved before we move forward to defend our net neutrality law in court.”
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued the following statement saying Becerra’s decision shows the strength of the federal government’s case.
“It also demonstrates, contrary to the claims of the law’s supporters, that there is no urgent problem that these regulations are needed to address,” Pai said. “Indeed, California’s agreement not to enforce these regulations will allow Californians to continue to enjoy free-data plans that have proven to be popular among consumers. “
Separately, a group of telecommunications industry trade organizations announced they would propose a delay in a separate lawsuit challenging California’s new law. The group said it will await the ruling in another lawsuit, brought by Mozilla, seeks to restore the federal Open Internet Order that prevents internet providers to block or slow access to any legal site, or charge for speedier delivery.
“California’s decision not to enforce its law regulating certain portions of the internet while the D.C. Circuit reviews the FCC’s 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom order is a win for consumers that will allow continued innovation and investment while these deliberations continue,” the groups said in a statement.