WASHINGTON — On Thursday, the D.C. Circuit denied a motion for stay of the Federal Communications Commission’s historic decision to reclassify broadband Internet access as a telecommunications service.
The cable, telephone and wireless lobbies sought to halt implementation of the decision while the court considered these industries’ challenge to the FCC's Net Neutrality rules. Free Press intervened in that case to defend the FCC, and joined other advocacy groups as well as Internet companies and investors to oppose the requested delay. Today’s ruling by the D.C. Circuit is another defeat for industry efforts to undermine the Net Neutrality rules, which are set to go into effect on June 12.
Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood made the following statement:
“The D.C. Circuit made the right call, thwarting this latest attempt to strip Internet users of the protections they deserve. The Court recognized what we have long known: The FCC’s open Internet framework poses no threat to broadband providers' business interests.
“Title II doesn't change the reality that broadband is a great business to be in. Big cable, phone and wireless providers can’t seem to get this part of their story straight. While their lawyers sing one tune before the courts, executives from Comcast, AT&T and the other big ISPs deny that Net Neutrality's legal framework harms their deployment plans in any way. And the FCC decision hasn’t stopped Charter from seeking to acquire Time Warner Cable and Bright House in deals valued at almost $90 billion.
“Yet much is at stake for Internet users. They face the constant threat that cable and phone companies will block, slow or degrade their Internet connections. The broadband providers' filing further reveals their plans to exploit consumers by circumventing privacy, accessibility and interconnection obligations. Restoring Internet users’ legal rights and recourse against any such ISP abuse can't wait any longer.
“The FCC is using Title II’s solid legal foundation to protect the public, returning to the law that a bipartisan Congress wrote for essential communications platforms like broadband access. The agency carefully examined the evidence in the record when it reclassified under Title II, responding to the millions of people who called for this result. We look forward to defending the FCC’s landmark decision on the merits and will continue to fight for the rights of Internet users everywhere.”