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Net Neutrality Lawsuits Begin

24 Mar, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel


Multichannel video program distributors threatened litigation following the FCC’s Feb. 26 vote reclassifying the Internet as a utility


As expected, separate broadband and telecom associations have filed lawsuits challenging the Federal Communications Commission’s Feb. 26 vote reclassifying the Internet as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.

Alamo Broadband March 23 filed a lawsuit against the FCC in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, La., alleging the agency order exceeded its authority.

The United States Telecom Association separately filed suit in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia seeking review of the FCC’s order. In the complaint, the trade group alleges the order to be “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure Act.”

Further, the trade group, whose members include major ISPs Verizon and AT&T, contends the FCC order violates federal law, the Constitution, the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and the FCC’s own regulations.

The telecom group said it filed the complaint “out of an abundance of caution,” due to the fact opponents to the FCC order have 10 days to file complaints. At issue is when the deadline to file expires.

While the FCC made its landmark vote Feb. 26, it did not disclose the ruling until March 12. But the ruling must be formally included in the Federal Register — a process that could take another 30 days or more.


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