NCTA Appeals FCC Decision to Impose Public Utility Regulation on Internet Services

Former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson and Assistant to the Solicitor General Miguel A. Estrada to Represent NCTA

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Today, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) filed a Petition for Review of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) February 26, 2015 decision to change the classification of broadband Internet access service, and as a result, to impose public utility-style regulation on Internet service providers. The petition was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (attached).

Representing NCTA in the appeal are former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson and former U.S. Assistant to the Solicitor General Miguel A. Estrada of Gibson Dunn. Olson and Estrada have individually argued 83 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The FCC, in effect, has impermissibly rewritten the Communications Act,” said Olson. “Congress clearly intended for the Internet to evolve unencumbered by complex, inefficient government regulations. Instead of letting regulators play the central role in determining how the Internet evolves, they wanted these decisions to be left to the creativity of entrepreneurs, engineers and consumers. The Commission’s decision to expand its power and apply heavy regulation has undermined that core principle. I believe we have a powerful and compelling case.”

"The FCC Order contravenes critical principles of administrative law and fundamentally misapplied statutes passed by Congress,” added Estrada. “I believe that the courts will reject the Commission’s unsound process and faulty legal reasoning."

“This appeal is not about net neutrality but the FCC’s unnecessary action to apply outdated utility style regulation to the most innovative network in our history,” said Michael Powell, NCTA President & CEO. “The FCC went far beyond the public’s call for sound net neutrality rules. Instead, it took the opportunity to engineer for itself a central role in regulating and directing the evolution of the Internet. We regrettably file this appeal and urge Congress to assert its role in setting national policy, by enacting legislation that fully protects the open Internet, without the harmful impact of public utility regulation.”

Download the Petition