A bill that prohibits the regulation of Voice over Internet Protocol by the Public Utilities Commission passed 30-6 in the state Senate on Wednesday.
Senate Bill 1161, by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, bans state departments from regulating VoIP unless required to by federal law.
"It ensures that California will not become the first state in the nation to regulate the Internet," Padilla said.
Consumer groups have opposed the bill, saying they fear it will cause phone providers to move away from traditional land lines, which could cut off older consumers.
Padilla and Sen. Juan Vargas, D-Chula Vista, countered that the bill was necessary and would ensure that many Internet companies stay in California.
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