Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"No surprise here. These companies will stop at nothing to destroy net neutrality for good," Fight for the Future declared in a tweet on Wednesday. (Photo: Political Dig)

Showing They Will 'Stop at Nothing to Destroy' Open Internet, Telecom Giants Sue to Block California's New Net Neutrality Law

"Big telecom companies hate the California net neutrality bill because it prevents them from screwing over their customers more than they already do."

Jake Johnson

Making abundantly clear that they will "stop at nothing to destroy net neutrality for good," four telecom lobbying groups representing the nation's most powerful internet providers and cable companies sued California on Wednesday to stop the state's gold standard open internet legislation from taking effect.

"It's no surprise that they're suing, but it does make it even more blatant and clear that Jeff Sessions and Ajit Pai are working directly on behalf of Big Cable in trying to block basic consumer protection legislation."
—Evan Greer, Fight for the Future

"Big telecom companies hate the California net neutrality bill because it prevents them from screwing over their customers more than they already do," Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, said in a statement. "It's no surprise that they're suing, but it does make it even more blatant and clear that Jeff Sessions and Ajit Pai are working directly on behalf of Big Cable in trying to block basic consumer protection legislation that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support."

"No one wants their cable company to be able to charge extra fees or control what websites they visit and what apps they use," Greer added.

Incensed by SB 822's strong protections against throttling and exorbitant fees, the industry groups behind the lawsuit argued in a statement that the "nation's broadband providers are the innovation engine of America's digital economy" and attacked California's widely praised bill as "a classic example of unconstitutional state regulation."

While massive telecom companies like Verizon and AT&T frequently claim to support net neutrality, these corporate behemoths have spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the past several years attempting to kill open internet protections and stand to reap enormous profits from the Republican-controlled FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules last December.

With its suit against California, Big Telecom joined President Donald Trump's Justice Department in taking legal action to undercut any state efforts to establish their own net neutrality protections to fill the regulatory void left by the FCC.

Filed just hours after Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 822 into law on Sunday, the Justice Department's lawsuit was immediately denounced by open internet advocates as "unfortunate and hypocritical in the extreme."

As Greer of Fight for the Future noted on Wednesday, the lawsuits by the Trump administration and Big Telecom "underscore the fact that Congress needs to do its job and pass the resolution to reverse the FCC's repeal. Until that happens, we'll fight to defend the California law, and push for other states to follow suit."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

With Election Days Away, Bernie Sanders Headlines Get-Out-the-Vote Rally for Nina Turner

In his keynote speech, Sanders said corporate interests are pulling out all the stops to defeat Turner because "they know that when she is elected, she is going to stand up and take them on in the fight for justice."

Jake Johnson ·


Bush, Pressley, and Omar Sleep Outside Capitol to Demand Extension of Eviction Moratorium

Rep. Cori Bush, who was formerly unhoused, slammed her Democratic colleagues who "chose to go on vacation early today rather than staying to vote to keep people in their homes."

Jake Johnson ·


As Progressives Call for End to Blockade, Biden Announces More Sanctions Against Cuba

The move comes after Democratic leadership in the House blocked an amendment to roll back limits on how much money people in the United States can send to family on the island nation.

Jessica Corbett ·


Progressives Issue Dire Warning as House Bill to Extend Eviction Moratorium Dies

"If Congress does not act now, the fallout of the eviction crisis will undoubtedly set us backwards as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravish our communities, needlessly contributing to more death and destruction."

Brett Wilkins ·


Citing Donziger Case, Dems Raise Alarm About Use of Private Prosecutors in Federal Court

Private prosecutions of criminal contempt charges, said a pair of senators, "are highly unusual and can raise concerning questions of fundamental fairness in our criminal justice system."

Jessica Corbett ·