Saturday, October 13, 2018

FCC Responds To Net Neutrality Lawsuits

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is asking a federal appeals court to uphold the controversial decision to repeal the popular 2015 net neutrality rules, reports The Hill.

In a filing with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday night, the commission responded to a lawsuit brought by a coalition of Democratic state attorneys general and consumer groups saying that it acted properly in overturning the rules last December.

"The legal and policy analysis presented in the Order easily fulfills the Commission's responsibility to explain its repeal of the 2015 order and its decision to restore the prior longstanding approach to broadband classification," the filing reads. "Petitioners' objections to the Order under review are meritless."

The Obama-era net neutrality order, passed by the FCC in 2015, classified broadband as a telecommunications service, subject to the same common carrier rules as other utilities. At the time, the agency imposed several common carrier rules on broadband providers -- including bans on blocking or throttling online traffic and on charging companies higher fees for prioritized delivery. Those regulations marked a culmination of prior FCC broadband policy directives dating back to 2005.

Last December, the FCC voted 3-2 to revoke the net neutrality rules and reclassify broadband as an information service. That order replaced the prior regulations with a "transparency" rule that requires Internet service providers to disclose their traffic management practices. The December order also attempted to ban states from passing or enforcing their own net neutrality rules.

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