The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) yesterday joined several cable multiple system operators in filing an “Intervenor” brief on petitions for review of an FCC Order, in the case of Brand X Internet Services v. Federal Communications Commission and United States of America, being reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

In the brief, the parties urge the Court to uphold the FCC’s decision classifying cable modem service as an interstate information service.

“The FCC’s decision that cable operators’ cable modem service is an ‘interstate information service’ under the Communications Act is a reasonable interpretation of ambiguous statutory language entitled to judicial deference,” the petitioners argue. “The distinctions among a ‘cable service,’ a ‘telecommunications service’ (telecommunications offered directly to the public for a fee), and an ‘information service’ (the capability for retrieving information ‘via telecommunications’) are highly technical, and the correct classification of cable modem service is not clear on the face of the statute. The matter, therefore, is particularly suited to resolution by the expert agency."