First Legal Challenges To FCC Open Internet Order Filed
March 24, 2015 at 3:55 AM (PT)
The first legal challenges have been filed to the FCC's Open Internet order.
The suits include a "protective petition for review" filed in the federal Court of Appeals in the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA by broadband trade organization USTELECOM, and a filing in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in NEW ORLEANS by ALAMO BROADBAND INC. Both object to the rules on the grounds that the rules are arbitrary and capricious.
The rules are not yet in effect because they have not been published in the Federal Register, and the Commission said MONDAY that the legal actions are "premature" and may be dismissed as such. But USTELECOM's petition notes that issue and says that it was filed "out of an abundance of caution," covering its bases in case the order "is construed to be final on the date it was issued" rather than publication so that it can take advantage of certain procedures available if the suit is filed within 10 days.
USTELECOM SVP JON BANKS said, “The focus of our legal appeal will be on the FCC's decision to reclassify broadband Internet access service as a public utility service after a decade of amazing innovation and investment under the FCC's previous light-touch approach. As our industry has said many times, we do not block or throttle traffic and FCC rules prohibiting blocking or throttling will not be the focus of our appeal."
USTELECOM President WALTER MCCORMICK added, “As we have said throughout this debate, our member companies conduct their business in conformance with the open Internet principles, and support their enactment into law. However, we also support a regulatory approach that relies upon Section 706 authority of the Communications Act, and we do not believe the Federal Communications Commission’s move to utility-style regulation invoking Title II authority is legally sustainable."