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Last month, California passed a state net neutrality law that’s designed to prevent internet service providers from blocking or throttling connection speeds. But on Friday, it decided to hold off on the law’s enforcement.

The reason: California wants to avoid an escalating legal battle with the US Department of Justice and telecom lobbying groups, which have both been trying to overturn the newly-signed law in court.

On Friday, California’s attorney general agreed to delay enforcing the net neutrality protections, which would have taken effect in January. In return, the Justice Department and the lobbying groups will suspend their lawsuits against the state.

Pending a judge’s approval, the agreement will act as a cease-fire. All sides will instead wait on a separate legal battle occuring that asks the bigger question: Was the FCC’s vote ending the Obama-era net neutrality protections even legal?

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(Photo credit: Brendan Snialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

In August, 22 states, including California, joined a lawsuit in the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit that seeks to undo the FCC’s order. The states claim the FCC’s rollback of the net neutrality protections violates their authority to regulate internet broadband.

The outcome of the case will determine how California goes about protecting the state’s net neutrality from legal threats to abolish it. So for now, the state’s attorney general has decided to first let the DC Circuit appeals case to proceed.

“Every step we take, every action we launch is intended to put us in the best position to preserve net neutrality for the 40 million people of our state,” California’s attorney general Xavier Becerra told The Washington Post.

California’s net neutrality law was originally introduced by Democratic state senator Scott Weiner, who also supported…

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