net neutrality

The fight over net neutrality continues.

California’s net neutrality law will have to wait for court challenges to the FCC’s abandonment of the open internet to wrap up before it’s implemented.

The state has agreed to hold off on implementing the net neutrality law. The U.S. Justice Department, meanwhile, will delay its lawsuit challenging the state’s law.

According to The Verge:

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai cast the delay as a victory for the Commission. “This substantial concession reflects the strength of the case made by the United States earlier this month,” Pai said. “It also demonstrates, contrary to the claims of the law’s supporters, that there is no urgent problem that these regulations are needed to address.”

California Senator Scott Wiener, who had championed the bill, described the decision in different terms. “Of course, I very much want to see California’s net neutrality law go into effect immediately, in order to protect access to the internet,” Wiener said in a press release today. “Yet, I also understand and support the Attorney General’s rationale for allowing the DC Circuit appeal to be resolved before we move forward to defend our net neutrality law in court. After the DC Circuit appeal is resolved, the litigation relating to California’s net neutrality law will then move forward.”

California passed its net neutrality law in response to a decision by Pai’s FCC to abandon rules requiring internet service providers to treat all data equally. According to the Washington Post:

The accord highlights the complexity of the legal tussle surrounding net neutrality, as well as the sky-high stakes tied to a case brought by consumer advocates and digital rights groups in Washington appealing the FCC’s decision last year to rescind its own net neutrality rules.

That case confronts some of the same issues as the one now facing California, such as whether the FCC’s new, lighter approach to net neutrality takes precedence over state laws. A ruling on that front by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit could have major ramifications for the Justice Department’s California suit.