Trade Groups are Once Again Challenging Net Neutrality Rulings

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 01, 2016

The recent court ruling that upheld the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules is still making waves. The rules were upheld after a three-judge panel reviewed them last summer, classifying broadband as a regulated telecommunications service. It's that classification that is now at issue again, as trade groups CTIA, USTelecom, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, and the American Cable Association on Friday asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to rehear their challenge to the ruling.

According to an NCTA blog post:

"Today, NCTA joined the American Cable Association (ACA) in filing a Joint Petition for Rehearing En Banc with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit regarding the 2015 FCC order to reclassify broadband internet access service as a common carrier service under Title II of the Communications Act. We don’t celebrate this petition, but we believe this action is necessary to correct unlawful action by the FCC."

Not all of the court's ruling is at issue.The trade groups are not challenging rules prohibiting broadband providers from selectively blocking or slowing web traffic, only the classification of broadband as a regulated telecommunications service. In short, ISPs don't want to be regulated. 

The blog post adds:

"We aren’t challenging the specific net neutrality protections – as we’ve explained repeatedly, we have long supported the net neutrality principles embodied in the FCC’s 2010 order that could be enforceable under the Commission’s traditional light touch approach to internet regulation.  Regrettably, the 2015 Order abruptly and unreasonably abandoned that long-established precedent, reverting to an outdated regulatory framework.  Quite simply, as regulators for decades have acknowledged and consistently determined, dynamic Internet networks do not resemble or deserve to be treated like archaic telephone systems."

 Despite the seeming finality of last year's court proceedings, it looks like the net neutrality debate isn't done yet.