Today, NCTA and other petitioners filed our joint legal brief with the D.C. Circuit highlighting the reasons why the FCC’s February 2015 order to subject broadband Internet to public utility-style regulation under Title II of the Communications Act was unlawful. The filing is a must read for those who have been following net neutrality since the mid 2000’s (or more recently) and strongly rebukes the FCC’s rationale for their unnecessary action.
“We are not appealing the FCC action because of net neutrality.”
With the FCC’s Title II order now before the Court, it’s important to restate something we have already said repeatedly – we are not appealing the FCC action because of net neutrality. In fact, we have been vocal in our support of the FCC crafting reasonable net neutrality protections for consumers. Unfortunately, the FCC went well beyond that sensible mission and chose to impose an outdated, far-reaching and punitive regulatory model on today’s dynamic Internet. With Title II opening the door for rate regulation, higher taxes and fees and the ability for government the set the terms and conditions of business relationships, we had no choice but to appeal.
The good news is that our appeal won’t impact the open and robust broadband experience that consumers have enjoyed for decades. Cable providers have invested billions of dollars into building, maintaining, and improving an open Internet experience for our customers. And even without formal net neutrality rules on the books, our industry embraced core Open Internet principles since they were first floated in the 1990s – and we continue to live by those principles today.
While we are confident in our legal appeal, the public policy battle over net neutrality has dragged on for too long and become too divisive. That is why we hope Congress can step in and adopt permanent, enforceable rules without the destructive overhang of Title II.