Lawmakers in California have approved a bill that would restore net neutrality rules repealed by the federal government earlier this year, potentially creating the strongest internet protections in the country.
The legislation, which is now headed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk after it was approved by the state Senate in a 27–12 vote Friday, would prohibit internet providers from slowing down websites, charging premiums for higher-quality streaming, and demanding payments from internet companies to reach subscribers.
The bill, coauthored by San Francisco Sen. Scott Wiener, would also prohibit zero-rating data, a practice in which internet providers exempt certain websites or services from counting toward a customer’s data usage. Zero-rating entire categories of apps and services, like all music streaming apps, would still be allowed.
Brown’s office said it doesn’t comment on legislation awaiting action by the governor.
“This is about a level playing field and an internet where we as individuals get to decide where we go on the internet, instead of being told by internet service providers or being manipulated by internet service providers into going where they want us to go,” Wiener said during a press conference after the bill’s passage.
In a statement emailed to BuzzFeed News, an AT&T spokesperson said the company was strongly opposed to the bill, calling some of its provisions “extreme.”
“The ban on zero rating could lead to an increase of $30 a month on the bills of low income Californians and the ban on interconnection fees could lead to a reduction in investment in…