Legal battles loom over FCC’s so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules

“Despite the Federal Communications Commission’s historic vote Thursday in favor of net neutrality, the fate of the Internet is far from settled,” Roger Yu and Mike Snider report for USA Today. “he FCC’s action triggered jubilation among open Internet enthusiasts, but the powerful telecom industry is poised for a legal challenge to the new rules. And Republicans in Congress are pushing legislation that would supersede the FCC’s approach.”

“Responding to the outcome with mockery and defiance, Verizon dismissed the new guidelines, which are based on a 1934 law, as a set of rules ‘written in the era of the steam locomotive and the telegraph,'” Yu and Snider report. “And in a clever PR gambit that was shared widely on social media, the company issued statements opposing the FCC action written with a typewriter in Morse code.”

“AT&T raised the prospect of court challenges that would block the FCC from enforcing the rules. ‘We once again face the uncertainty of litigation, and the very real potential of having to start over — again — in the future,’ said Jim Cicconi, AT&T’s senior executive vice president external and legislative affairs, in a statement. The FCC’s previous net neutrality rules were thrown out by a federal court last year,'” Yu and Snider report. “Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, tweeting to his followers that he ‘had to be there,’ stood after the vote and applauded the commissioners. ‘This is a victory for the people,’ he told Bloomberg TV, echoing similar sentiments expressed in flurries of e-mails by consumer groups and technology companies.”

‘Along with potential lawsuits, the cable industry will not abandon its efforts to push Congress for a new law that would override the FCC’s action,” Yu and Snider report. “Draft legislation by some Republicans seeks to keep some net neutrality protection, such as banning blocking of content, but stops short of subjecting ISPs to treat-them-like-utilities regulations.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
U.S. FCC OKs so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules on party-line vote – February 26, 2015

15 Comments

    1. Devils are in the details. This is my legal strategy: 1) Fight Title II reclassification with aim to box FCC on the forbearance legal justification. Win or lose is ok. 2) With forbearance justification in hand, start to file tariff for termination fee. 3) Wait to start another legal battle pending FCC and edge providers (this your favorite Neflix/Google, etc). In the meantime, collect all termination fee from your favorite website providers and laugh all the way to bank. BTW, your state and city are more than happy to collect Title tax and fee from you. Look at your phone bill and internet bill, compare fee and tax on each, you will know.

  1. Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a non-elected federal government agency, voted three-to-two to reclassify broadband Internet as a common carrier service under Title II of the Communications Act. This means that – without the vote of Congress, the peoples’ branch of government – a federal agency now claims the power to regulate the Internet. I am surprised that even among civil liberties groups, some claim the federal government increasing regulation of the Internet somehow increases our freedom and liberty.

    The truth is very different. The adoption of these FCC rules on the Internet represents the largest regulatory power grab in recent history. The FCC’s newly adopted rule takes the most dynamic means of communication and imposes the regulatory structure designed for public utilities. Federal regulation could also open the door to de facto censorship of ideas perceived as threatening to the political class – ideas like the troops should be brought home, the PATRIOT Act should be repealed, military spending and corporate welfare should be cut, and the Federal Reserve should be audited and ended.

    The one bright spot in this otherwise disastrous move is that federal regulations making it more difficult to use the Internet will cause more Americans to join our movement for liberty, peace, and prosperity. The federal government should keep its hands off of the Internet!

    — Ron Paul, February 26, 2015

    http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2015/february/26/internet-rip/

    1. Today, hundreds of public figures who claim to honor and revere a document ratified 228 years ago and written in the era of the sailing ship, leech therapy, and slavery, scoffed at the idea of a law passed in 1934 (only 81 years ago) as having any validity in the modern United States. Hypocrisy rules…

      1. I doubt that the Founding Fathers would agree that having three unelected officials determine something this important and far reaching was proper. And, I’m sure there was absolutely no influence from the Executive Branch in the decision. Hypocrisy rules, indeed.

  2. Message sent to all members of Congress by Cable Company Lobbyists:
    “We already paid you for the Comcast-TW merger. We already bought you. We own you. Do what your told” . . . it’s sad to think that those cable lobbyists are paid for by all of us—cable TV subscribers who are dishing out $100 so we can get ESPN and 150 other channels we never watch.

  3. I love how the fact that a non-prodit body that can be elected/unelected is being put forward as a worse option to regulate the internet than essentially a monopoly private company with some of the worst customer satisfaction ratings ever who would like to charge more for less.

    Only a complete idiot or someone entirely bent on profiteering would think making the net permanently equal for all in law was a bad thing.

  4. As long as local governments have to power to grant your cable or telephone company an exclusive license to lay fiber to your door in exchange for a lucrative franchise fee, we will have no competition and suffer all the resulting abuse. Access to utility rights of way in local municipalities should be handled like FRAND patents: any one can use them for a fee, and the fees should be the reasonable and the same for all. I will never get FIOS because the FCC (that great protector of consumers) approved a deal that let Comcast and Verizon parcel out local geographies on an exclusive basis.

  5. The only people I can find who are against net neutrality appear to be either politicians or telecom execs.

    Everyone who who knows technology appears to be for it.

    1. Also, some of the extremist right wingers on this site are against it. Unless, of course, they’re just against anything they can claim Obama had anything to do with.

      1. I am highly against it. The government has no business running the internet. They will destroy it. Its not neutral at all its the govt will decide what should be on the internet and what should not. They will raise fees and determine what we see and sites that speak out against the govt will be shut down.

        If you don’t believe it look at CHINA they took over the internet there and its highly highly watched and they block ANYTHING they don’t want people to see. They even block Facebook. The only way to get Facebook is through a VPN. The internet is hit and miss sometimes its fast sometimes very slow.

        The govt has never done anything good not in recent years. They took huge tax dollars to bail out auto makers. IM sorry I’m my day AMC and others if they couldn’t make it they went out of business or they figured out a way to make it by till they could.

        STOP THE FCC. Besides what gives the FCC the right to determine what i do on my internet? I pay for it every month i can do what i want

  6. Popcorn, popcorn, free entertainment for citizens of the real world. Watch the losers and whiners go at it, live on the net. See what happens when the moral high ground is lost.

    Popcorn, popcorn, get your popcorn here.

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