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Lawsuit Is Second Since Governor Signed Expansive Open Internet Law On Sept. 30

Three days after California Governor Jerry Brown signed the state’s new, expansive net neutrality bill into law, and the United States Justice Department immediately sued to block the law, as reported, the state was hit with a new lawsuit over net neutrality—this one from a consortium of lobbying groups representing the biggest and most powerful telecommunications companies that control internet access for millions of Americans.

On Wednesday, four industry lobbying organizations—mobile communications group CTIA, cable industry consortium NCTA, the telecommunications lobbyist organization USTelecom, and the American Cable Association—filed a lawsuit in a federal district court in Sacramento.

“This case presents a classic example of unconstitutional state regulation,” the lawsuit said, adding that in passing the new net neutrality bill guaranteeing that internet service providers treat all online traffic equally, California “purposefully intended to countermand and undermine federal law by imposing … the very same regulations that the Federal Communications Commission expressly repealed in its 2018 Restoring Internet Freedom Order (and by adopting even more restrictive regulations), despite the fact that both the FCC decision and the federal Communications Act of 1934 prohibit states from taking such action.”

As in the earlier Justice Department lawsuit, the internet companies are asking the court to hand down an injunction against the net neutrality law taking effect, which would otherwise be scheduled to happen on January 1, 2019, according to the tech news site Ars Technica.

Telecommunications lawyer Pantelis Michalopoulos, who specializes in net neutrality law, told CNN that he sees little chance for the lawsuits to succeed.