Telecom Giants Get Their Day in Court Against FCC's Net Neutrality Rules

Big telecom companies are taking the fight against "net neutrality" rules to court. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has agreed to hear oral arguments on Dec. 4 in lawsuits challenging the Federal Communications Commission’s new regulations on broadband speeds and access, Reuters reports.

The five-member FCC board voted in February to enforce the rules, which compel ISPs to treat all data equally. A lawsuit soon followed from the United States Telecom Association, a trade group that represents AT&T, Verizon, and others, but the court declined to block the new rules by the time they went into effect on June 12.

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USTelecom filed a new brief with the court late last month slamming the rules as unlawful and an "unprecedented transfer of regulatory power… without a clear warrant from Congress." It also warned of potential harm to the “long-term health of the broadband economy" if left unchecked.

"The commission illegally reversed years of established regulatory history based on claims that consumer perceptions about what broadband providers offer have drastically changed,” the brief said, adding that “reclassifying mobile broadband as a common carrier violates years of FCC policy holding that mobile broadband is an information service and not a commercial mobile service.”

Read USTelecom’s brief to the appeals court here.