Stop us if you've heard this one before: Telcos try to kill net neutrality

Wheeler laughs off latest attempt to kill Title II classification


A group of US telcos has formally asked the courts to overturn the Open Internet rules put in place by the FCC, America's broadband nanny.

A series of petitions filed by the likes of AT&T, CTIA and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) asked the court to throw out a June verdict from a district court that upholds the FCC net neutrality rules and its Title II classification of broadband services.

One of the petitions, penned by the NCTA and the American Cable Association, argues that the FCC is misusing decades-old rules intended to apply to the early days of radio and television.

"The [Open Internet] Order subjects broadband for the first time to a regulatory paradigm adopted 80 years ago for telephone monopolies, modeled on a regime first created for railroads," the petition [PDF] reads.

"Title II established a complex web of utility-style rules imposing myriad duties on providers of 'interstate or foreign communications by wire or radio' operating as common carrier[s]."

An appeal of the decision has been widely expected since the June ruling was handed down. Telcos and cable providers have long claimed that the FCC is overstepping its authority with the open internet orders and the Title II classification.

Shortly after the ruling, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a statement of his own, brushing off the claims.

"It comes as no surprise that the big dogs have challenged the three-judge panel's decision," Wheeler said.

"We are confident that the full court will agree with the panel's affirmation of the FCC's clear authority to enact its strong Open Internet rules, the reasoned decision-making upon which they are based, and the adequacy of the record from which they were developed." ®

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