Bill would preserve internet-based services

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, March 2, 2012 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

SB 1161 by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) reaffirms California’s commitment to foster investment and innovation in the internet and further widespread availability of Internet-based services.

Consumer demand for voice, video and data services using the Internet and Internet Protocol (IP) technology has stimulated innovation, investment and economic growth that must be protected. Today, state policy regulates this technology only when authorized by federal law or specified by the Legislature. Currently, the Federal Communications Commission has declined blanket regulation of IP-enabled services and has avoided treatment of Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as a traditional telephone service, instead opting to apply regulatory oversight on a case-by-case basis, as necessary.  At the state level, the California Public Utilities Commission has followed suit, also opting to act only when necessary and authorized.  These actions have allowed competition and innovation in the internet economy to flourish for the benefit of consumers and businesses as well as the state’s economy.

SB 1161 would preserve this regulatory structure by doing the following:

  • Reaffirm California’s current policy of regulating VoIP and IP-enabled services only as authorized by federal law and specified by the Legislature;
  • Foster continued investment, job creation, and innovation in California’s technology sector and the new “app” economy;
  • Ensure continued development and widespread availability at affordable prices of communications technologies and services that meet consumer demand and provide solutions to challenges in healthcare, education, energy, public safety and economic development; and
  • Ensure that California does not lose its position among the states as the epicenter of the global Internet economy.

The bill will have its first hearing sometime after March 24th.

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