FCC Tells Judicial Panel That Open Internet Lawsuits Are 'Premature'
March 31, 2015 at 11:47 AM (PT)
The FCC has responded to the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation with regard to the lawsuits filed to stop enforcement of the Open Internet order, and, as previewed in statements from the Commission and predicted in one of the suits, the Commission is calling the actions "premature."
In the letter to the panel, FCC Deputy Associate General Counsel RICHARD K. WELCH says that the suits, one filed by USTELECOM in the D.C. Circuit and the other filed by ALAMO BROADBAND INC. in the Fifth Circuit, are both premature because "the period for seeking judicial review of the order does not commence until the order is published in the Federal Register." WELCH notes that the order released on MARCH 12th has yet to be published in the Federal Register.
WELCH adds that the Commission will file a motion to dismiss the petitions as soon as the panel randomly selects the venue for the two cases.
USTELECOM's petition stated that it was filed "out of an abundance of caution" to cover all bases in case the order "is construed to be final on the date it was issued" rather than publication so that the plaintiff would be able to take advantage of certain procedures available if the suit was filed within 10 days.