So what exactly is Net Neutrality anyway? Good question! Nowadays it is very difficult to keep up with all the different pieces of legislation, and understanding what those pieces of legislation mean is an entirely different realm. The core principle behind net neutrality is an open and free internet, for everyone. As of December of 2017, the FCC repealed the bill, championed by the chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai. Fast forward to now, and a few states have taken action as a result of this repeal.

California is among one of the first states to oppose the FCC and passed legislation this past Monday (Jan.

29) for a net neutrality bill in lieu of the FCC repealing net neutrality back in December of 2017. Montana and New York are two other states that have already had executive orders put in place by their respective governors in support of net neutrality. These executive orders essentially ban non-neutral Internet Service Providers from conducting any business with the government.

What is SB 460?

Now, this motion (SB 460) has only been passed by the California Senate by a vote of 21-12 this past Monday. It will then have to make its way to the State Assembly where the Democrats hold a 53-25 majority over Republicans. Like the executive orders from the governors of New York and Montana, California's bill (SB 460) prohibits any non-Neutral internet service provider from doing business with the government.

The motion just passed in California (SB 460) takes that idea a little closer to its logical conclusion, however. The California bill (SB 460) also prohibits landline and mobile internet service providers from throttling, blocking, and/or paid prioritization unless they want to face hefty fines or an injunction, which could ultimately lead to contempt of court or a lawsuit.

Is there hope for net neutrality?

One of the neat things about this bill is that if an internet service provider or landline wants to conduct business with the government, they must first swear under oath in court that they will uphold the net neutrality principles. If they break these principles after swearing under oath, they will face perjury charges.

Going forward, many people hope that more states jump on board to support the net neutrality movement in spite of the FCC's ruling to kill the bill. Ajit Pai (Chairman of the FCC) might have won the battle, but the war for an open and free internet remains hanging in the balance. Only time will tell who actually wins.