It has been reported in many outlets that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has denied a motion to enjoin enforcement of California law mandating public utility regulation of broadband Internet services. Apparently, this will allow California's law – which goes beyond the FCC's now-repealed Title II restrictions – to go into effect. However, this is not likely the end of the litigation. Professor Daniel Lyons, a Member of the Free State Foundation's Board of Academic Advisors, made the case for why CA SB-822 is most likely preempted in his Perspectives from FSF Scholars paper, "Day of Reckoning Approaches for California Net Neutrality Law."
Also, FSF President Randolph May and I appealed to a broader set of principles to make the case for why preemption of SB-822 is consistent with a constitutionalist outlook in our Federalist Society Review paper, "John Marshall's Jurisprudence Supports Preemption of California's Net Neutrality Law." And for more on these subjects, consult our book, A Reader on Net Neutrality and Restoring Internet Freedom.
Leaving aside for now any future changes in federal broadband policy by the FCC, FSF scholars repeatedly have made the point that state-level regulation of broadband Internet access services is a bad idea. Broadband networks are interstate services. State and local restrictions effectively seek to regulate services that transcend state borders and run risk of conflicting with each other. And public utility regulation of broadband Internet services is harmful and justifiable. Policy for broadband Internet services should be set at the federal level, not the state or local level.