Washington, February 23: A US federal judge on Tuesday cleared the way for the state of California to enforce its net neutrality law, denying a request by telecommunications providers to delay state rules meant to ensure equal access to internet content, The New York Times reported.

Judge John Mendez of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California denied a motion for preliminary injunction brought by the group of internet service providers that had sued to stop the 2018 state law from going into effect.

Net neutrality is the notion that all internet content should be accessible to consumers and that broadband providers cannot block or degrade content, particularly sites and services that compete against their own services.

California’s law was created after the Trump-era Federal Communications Commission in 2017 rolled back its federal net neutrality regulation. The Justice Department immediately sued the state to overturn its law. Broadband providers, through their trade groups, followed with a request for a preliminary injunction to stop the California law while the lawsuit wound its way through the courts.

The court’s ruling clears the way for California to enact its law, a move that is expected to be replicated by other states in the absence of a federal rule. Washington, Vermont and Oregon are among a handful of states that also enacted laws after the federal rollback of the rules.

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