SB 1161 approved by Senate with overwhelming support June 1, 2012
A measure to preserve California’s current policy regarding the oversight of Internet and Internet-based services passed out of the State Senate this week on a 30-6 vote. SB 1161 by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) will provide the regulatory certainty needed to foster greater investment and innovation in new technology thus enabling manufacturers and businesses alike to better serve their customers in new and innovative ways.
As amended to clarify intent and address concerns raised, SB 1161 does the following:
- Affirms the Legislature’s role in developing future State policy related to the Internet and Internet-based services, consistent with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) exclusive jurisdiction over Internet Protocol-enabled services and technology;
- Maintains and codifies the FCC’s current regulatory oversight of the Internet and Internet-based services—including FCC-mandated consumer safeguards of 911 access, telephone number portability, access for the disabled, data security, outage reporting and law enforcement access;
- Recognizes the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC’s) current authority and rules on traditional wireline telephone services, leaving any existing rules related to universal service or Carrier of Last Resort (COLR) or existing consumer protections on telephone service unchanged; and
- Provides regulatory certainty—established by the Legislature—to California’s technology industry that encourages continued innovation, investment and job creation for an industry that is vital to California’s economic future.
- The CPUC has already signaled its intention to regulate the Internet and Internet-based services like VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and impose traditional, 100 year old copperline telephone regulations to these fundamentally different and unique services. SB 1161 is needed to ensure that the State’s economy and the speed of innovation and investment are not jeopardized by protracted regulatory proceedings that can create delay and result in unnecessary expenses.
CMTA is proud to support legislation that promotes regulatory certainty, fosters greater innovation and job creation and delivers new choices and benefits to California businesses and consumers.
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