California Assembly advances Open Internet
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California Assembly advances Open Internet

Posted August 30th, 2018 by seanm

California Assembly approves landmark legislation to secure an open internet
State Senate and Governor are the final two steps to adopt strongest state law in the nation

In a key vote today in Sacramento the California State Assembly approved the California Net Neutrality Act SB 822 (Weiner) - advancing the measure for a final vote in the State Senate before going to Governor Brown for approval.

Access Humboldt's executive director Sean Taketa McLaughlin said: "This is a big day for open internet with a solid bipartisan majority supporting the California Net Neutrality Act! Thanks to North Coast Assemblymember Jim Wood and State Senator Mike McGuire who signed on as co-sponsors and helped to move the legislation forward. Now is a good time for folks to contact Governor Brown and encourage him to approve the bill and endorse these important protections for open internet!"

Access Humboldt has been actively supporting open internet and offered a simple one page explanation of the importance of net neutrality for remote and rural communities highlighting five areas - Public Health & Safety; Education & Training; Economic Opportunity; Culture & Arts; and Civic Engagement.

For the public, for education and for local government purposes:

Public Health, Safety and Community Resilience
Diverse geography and long distances give rural communities unique challenges to meet basic
needs for social services including health care, police, fire and emergency responders. Where
resources are thin there is a special need for community-wide response to recover from natural
disasters. Open networks allow people to connect directly with agencies that provide local
services, information and products. Closed networks restrict and monetize those connections.

Education and Training - Lifelong Learning
Access to education opportunities is increasingly linked to fast internet access. Open,
unrestricted broadband connections empower local experts to share their knowledge across the
community and beyond. Local knowledge and unique digital archives of historic and cultural
significance can be hosted and shared with robust and open connections. Closed networks allow
ISPs to restrict and further monetize access. Local information resources become less available
and more costly to deliver, favoring distant owners and only profitable, well funded ideas.

Economic Opportunity- Marketplace of Ideas and Transactions
Rural economies include most of our natural resources and management of those resources
increasingly relies upon fast connections to support diverse economic activity and public uses.
Just like big box retail outlets impact locally owned businesses, a closed internet (without Net
Neutrality) will bias traffic away from rural services and products and concentrate the market
power in corporate centers tied to the network owner. Open Internet supports open markets.

Culture and Arts - Past, Present, Future
Network neutrality and open access are particularly vital for the creative economies of rural and
remote communities where innovation and diverse cultures thrive. Many artist inventors are
rural. Closed networks reduce diversity by creating barriers to enter the marketplace of ideas.
Rural areas generally have less access to all forms of media, not just broadband. Therefore, open
and unfiltered access to all information online is vitally important for rural communities.

Civic Engagement - Liberty and Justice
Lacking net neutrality protections, private network providers become the gatekeepers between
consumers, businesses, nonprofits and public agencies and the people they serve. Closed
networks direct people to advertising or whatever content most benefits the network owner.
Open networks support freedom of information and expression, essential human rights.


For more information, contact Sean Taketa McLaughlin e:


Access Humboldt is a non-profit, community media & broadband access organization serving the residents and local jurisdictions of Humboldt County on the North Coast of California USA, managing resources that include: cable access TV channels; KZZH FM 96.7 community radio; a wide area broadband network with dedicated optic fiber connections to twenty locations serving local jurisdictions and community anchor institutions; broadband access wireless networks; a Community Media Center with studio and other production equipment and training on the Eureka High School campus; and ongoing operational support for public, educational and governmental access media services.


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