The trade groups suing the state said in a joint statement that they were reviewing the court decision and deliberating next steps. But they argued against state laws that create a patchwork of regulations for broadband providers.
“A state-by-state approach to internet regulation will confuse consumers and deter innovation, just as the importance of broadband for all has never been more apparent,” the groups said.
The court’s ruling clears the way for California to enact its law, a move that is expected to be replicated by other states in the absence of a federal rule. Washington, Vermont and Oregon are among a handful of states that also enacted laws after the federal rollback of the rules.
“We applaud the court for affirming that California has the power to protect access to the internet,” California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, said in a statement. “The ability of an internet service provider to block, slow down or speed up content based on a user’s ability to pay for service degrades the very idea of a competitive marketplace and the open transfer of information at the core of our increasingly digital and connected world.”
The Biden administration is expected to support the reinstatement of federal net neutrality rules. One month into the new administration, the Justice Department dropped its lawsuit against California’s law, leaving just the telecommunications industry’s request for a preliminary injunction as the last hurdle for the law to go into effect.