State Sen. Wiener introduces net neutrality bill

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By Bay City News Service

State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, introduced legislation today in an effort to push back against the Federal Communications Commission's recent repeal of nationwide net neutrality. 

Senate Bill 822 will reportedly regulate business practices to require net neutrality and condition state contracts on adhering to net neutrality. 

The bill will also require net neutrality in cable franchise agreements as a condition for use of public internet infrastructure as well as require adherence to net neutrality as a condition for attaching cellular or other broadband wireless communications equipment to utility poles, according to a statement from Weiner's office.

The bill was co-authored by a number of Bay Area democrats, including sens. Bill Dodd from Napa, Mike McGuire from Healdsburg, Bill Monning from Carmel and Nancy Skinner from Berkeley as well as assemblymembers Rob Bonta of Oakland, David Chiu of San Francisco, Ash Kalra 
of San Jose and Kevin Mullin of San Mateo. 

When the FCC repealed net neutrality Dec. 14 despite popular opposition, Chairman Ajit Pai referred to the move as his plan to "restore internet freedom" in a widely criticized "public service announcement" uploaded to YouTube by the conservative media outlet The Daily Caller.

Pai said that despite regulatory changes, consumers will still be able to engage in largely commercial activities such as posting photos of food and puppies to social media, getting that "bulk deal on fidget spinners," and binge-watching HBO shows. 

Weiner said the FCC's actions include a provision barring state and local governments from taking the kind of actions highlighted in SB822, but it is likely unenforceable. 

The full text of SB822 is not yet available to the public. Jeff Cretan, a spokesman for Weiner's office, said he expects it to be published sometime today or Thursday.