California Net Neutrality Act advances - Wood co-sponsors
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California Net Neutrality Act advances - Wood co-sponsors

Posted August 22nd, 2018 by seanm

California Net Neutrality Act - SB 822 passed key Assembly Committee vote

August 22, 2018

Today the California Net Neutrality Act - SB 822 (Weiner) passed a key review by the Assembly's Committee on Communications and Conveyance on a 9-3 vote. Today's action follows a move on Monday (August 20, 2018) that had North Coast Assemblymember Jim Wood sign on as a co-sponsor of the measure.

Access Humboldt's Executive Director Sean Taketa McLaughlin shared this view: "We support open internet and we applaud our Assemblymember Jim Wood for stepping up to co-sponsor this important legislation. When the floor vote comes up, we expect his leadership to count - especially for our rural communities! Access Humboldt outlined some of the key issues that impact rural and remote communities like the North Coast, including public health & safety, education and job training, economic opportunities for small business, culture and arts, and civic engagement." (A one page summary is attached below)

Access Humboldt shared this testimony in support of SB 822 California Net Neutrality Act:

Open networks connect remote rural communities to essential services

On one side of the digital divide, you’ll see well-connected populations with fast internet service, often called broadband. On the other side of the divide, you’ll see folks who are older, more culturally and racially diverse, less financially secure, less educated. And--throughout the nation--you’ll see all kinds of people in rural communities where broadband service is less available, less reliable, and much more expensive than it is in cities and suburbs.

While most Americans have access to broadband, more than a third of rural people do not have access to an internet service adequate to meet today’s needs. When was the last time you tried landline dial-up internet service? For many rural residents, it was today.

In rural areas, with inferior networks and the scarcity of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) limiting choice and competition, strong Open Internet protections are critical and must be strong enough to ensure that ISPs do not block websites and applications or throttle web traffic.

As with the failures of rural call completion, these profiteering practices make rural broadband connections less functional and reliable, thereby deepening digital--cultural and economic--divides that impede our progress, leaving rural communities behind.

Out here in the country, we have seen large consolidated industry players reap huge profits. And we know that small community-based networks are among the best for price and performance. So we question claims of absentee owners of ISPs who flock to the State Capital and tell elected officials that rural folks don’t care about open networks. That’s just not true.

Rural folks know that Open Internet is critical to our daily lives:

It keeps public health and safety agencies better informed and allows them to respond more quickly. It builds community resilience.

It broadens and strengthens education and training options for lifelong learning and occupational advancement.

It creates economic opportunity by enhancing the marketplace of ideas and fostering more efficient transactions.

It eases access to culture and arts, helping people understand and appreciate their own lives and those of people whose experiences are vastly different.

It bolsters civic engagement by fostering transparency and accountability, promoting participation, enhancing access to governmental resources, protecting civil liberties and promoting justice.

In short, the reliable equitable broadband service of an Open Internet helps every facet of life fulfill its potential. Rural folks, who need it more than most, definitely know that.

So, as rural folks, and on behalf of our communities, we invite you to consider our side of the divide. And we ask you: Please support the California Net Neutrality Act of 2018

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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