wednesday, 22 august of 2018


22 states urge appeals court to reinstate net neutrality rules

Attorneys general for 22 states and the District of Columbia on Monday urged the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to reverse President Donald Trump and the Federal Communications Commission decision to strike down the rule rolling back net neutrality.

Led by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, the lawsuit was filed against the FCC after it disassembled net neutrality under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The Act establishes a dual state and federal regulation of the internet and free and open access to the public. Under the Act, the FCC agreed that, “open Internet free from blocking, throttling, or other interference by service providers is critical to ensure that all Americans have access to the advanced telecommunications services that have become essential for daily life.”

The FCC sought to extinguish state authority and public access to free and open internet through its order passed in January. According to Underwood, by extinguishing the net neutrality rule, “the FCC is allowing internet service providers to put their profits before consumers while controlling what we see, do, and say online.”

In their brief, the states highlighted two issues: (1) “that the FCC’s order is arbitrary and capricious because it puts consumers at risk of abusive practices by broadband providers, jeopardizes public safety;” and (2) “that the FCC’s order unlawfully purports to preempt state and local regulation of broadband service.” The court must determine whether the FCC followed properly administrative agency regulatory rules in passing the Order, and whether the Order unlawfully restricts state and local regulation.

(Published by Jurist, August 21, 2018)

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