Menu
Three new lawsuits challenge FCC's net neutrality rules

Three new lawsuits challenge FCC's net neutrality rules

The agency is now facing five legal challenges from four trade groups and one ISP

The rush is on to sue the U.S. Federal Communications Commission over its net neutrality rules, with three trade groups filing legal challenges Tuesday.

The agency now faces five lawsuits related to the regulations.

Mobile trade group CTIA, cable trade group the National Cable and Telecommunications Association [NCTA] and the American Cable Association, which represents small cable operators, all filed lawsuits Tuesday.

The three new lawsuits all challenge the FCC's decision to reclassify broadband as a regulated, common-carrier service, reversing a long-standing agency position that it is a lightly regulated information service. The CTIA lawsuit also focuses on the reclassification of mobile broadband.

The new rules will "chill investment," and the FCC's decision ignores a competitive mobile industry, CTIA President and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker said in a statement. "Instead of promoting greater industry investment in the connected world of tomorrow, the FCC opted to resuscitate a command-and-control regulatory regime, including a process where innovators must first seek permission from the FCC before rolling out new services," she added.

By reclassifying broadband, the FCC has rewritten the Communications Act without permission from Congress, added Theodore Olson, a veteran lawyer representing the NCTA, said in a statement.

"Congress clearly intended for the Internet to evolve unencumbered by complex, inefficient government regulations," Olson added.  "Instead of letting regulators play the central role in determining how the Internet evolves, they wanted these decisions to be left to the creativity of entrepreneurs, engineers and consumers."

The FCC is confident the rules will be upheld by the courts, agency spokeswoman Kim Hart said by email. A favorable court decision will ensure "enforceable protections for consumers and innovators online," she added.

The new net neutrality rules, approved by the FCC on Feb. 26, would prohibit broadband and mobile carriers from selectively blocking or slowing Web traffic. The rules also reclassify broadband as a regulated telecom service, instead of treating it as a lightly regulated information service, as the FCC has done for the past decade.

In late March, the United States Telecom Association, another trade group, and ISP Alamo Broadband filed lawsuits challenging the net neutrality rules. USTelecom refiled its lawsuit Monday after the FCC's rules were published in the Federal Register, the official publication for U.S. agency rules.

Typically, plaintiffs have to wait until FCC orders are published in the Federal Register to file lawsuits, but USTelecom had some procedural questions because of the sprawling nature of the FCC rules.

The lawsuits against the FCC's rules will likely be consolidated into one case in one court. Most of the challenges were filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, although the Alamo lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, based in Louisiana.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Subscribe here for up-to-date channel news

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags telecommunicationNational Cable and Telecommunications AssociationregulationCivil lawsuitsKim HartmobileinternetMeredith Attwell BakerInternet service providersAmerican Cable AssociationTheodore OlsonlegalctiaU.S. Federal Communications Commissiongovernment

Featured

Slideshows

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

Revealed at a glitzy bash in Sydney at the Ivy Penthouse, the first StorageCraft Partner Awards locally saw the vendor honour its top-performing partners with ASI Solutions, SMBiT Pro, Webroot, ACA Pacific and Soft Solutions New Zealand taking home the top awards. Photos by Maria Stefina.

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards
Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

​Synnex and Lenovo hosted 18 resellers for an action-packed weekend adventure in RotoVegas, taking in white water rafting on the Kaituna River, as well as quad biking and dinner at Stratosfare​, overlooking Lake Rotorua at the top of Mount Ngongotaha​. Photos by Synnex.

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip
Show Comments