Menu
US appeals court won't rehear a challenge to net neutrality rules

US appeals court won't rehear a challenge to net neutrality rules

The court upheld the FCC's 2015 rules just days after the agency moved to repeal them on its own

IDG

IDG

A U.S. appeals court has denied a request by broadband trade groups to rehear its decision last June to uphold the Federal Communications Commission's controversial 2015 net neutrality rules.

The court's decision on Monday is a hollow victory for net neutrality supporters. Just last Wednesday, new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced plans to repeal the rules at the agency, without a court ordering him to do so.

The trade groups needed a majority of the judges on the District of Columbia Circuit to support a rehearing of last year's decision. What they got was a divided court: Three of the nine judges recused themselves, and two judges voted to deny the petition for rehearing, leaving a minority in support.

A rehearing "would be particularly unwarranted at this point in light of the uncertainty surrounding the fate of the FCC's Order," Judge Sri Srinivasan wrote in his denial of a rehearing. "The agency will soon consider adopting a [new order] that would replace the existing rule with a markedly different one."

Judge Janice Brown dissented, saying the FCC lacked congressional authority to adopt the 2015 rules. Those net neutrality regulations reclassified broadband as a highly regulated, telecom-like service in order to prohibit broadband providers from selectively blocking or slowing internet content and services.

The FCC's decision "shows signs of a government having grown beyond the consent of the governed [including] the administrative state shoehorning major questions into long-extant statutory provisions without congressional authorization," she wrote.

Five broadband trade groups, including USTelecom and CTIA, as well as AT&T, CenturyLink and other providers, challenged the rules.

The court's decision isn't surprising, given that the FCC's plans to vote on May 18 to begin repealing the 2015 rules, Pai said in a statement. But the text of the decision is important because it gives the FCC latitude to classify broadband again as a lightly regulated information service, he added.

USTelecom is "gratified" that some judges wanted to rehear the case and that the FCC is moving toward a repeal of the 2015 framework, Jonathan Spalter, CEO of the trade group, said in a statement.

"Broadband innovators strongly support net neutrality and will continue efforts to promote policies that encourage investment and innovation in America’s broadband networks, consistent with the deregulatory structure of the 1996 Telecom Act," he added.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

A snapshot of the Kiwi partners set to shine at the Reseller News Awards

A snapshot of the Kiwi partners set to shine at the Reseller News Awards

With the 2017 Reseller News ICT Industry Awards only weeks away, Reseller News profiles the power line-up of partners set to dominate the biggest night on the channel calendar. ​Ranging from the enterprise, down through the mid-market and small business sectors into the heart of the start-up scene, the end result is the most diverse and wide-ranging partner line-up in the history of the Awards, playing host to the leading innovators of the past 12 months.​

A snapshot of the Kiwi partners set to shine at the Reseller News Awards
Channel celebrates as HP marks 50 years in NZ

Channel celebrates as HP marks 50 years in NZ

HP marked 50 years in New Zealand at an event in the vendor's Auckland's headquarters last night, with a host of key channel figures coming along to celebrate. Photos by HP.

Channel celebrates as HP marks 50 years in NZ
Show Comments