FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and commissioners Mignon Clyburn (L) and Jessica Rosenworcel
Technically, it's a bit premature—new federal rules are supposed to be published in the Federal Register before they can be challenged in court—but the net neutrality lawsuits
A tiny Texas-based broadband provider and a major telecom trade group fired the first shots in what’s expected to be a drawn-out legal war over the Federal Communications Commission’s new net neutrality rules.
Alamo Broadband, which serves about 700 customers south of San Antonio, on Monday asked the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to “hold unlawful, vacate, enjoin, and set aside” the net neutrality order, telling the court that the commission overstepped its authority. USTelecom, which represents industry giants like AT&T and Verizon, took a similar action Monday in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Big telecom has very, very deep pockets for this fight. Big enough to fight on two fronts—in the courts and in Congress. What they don't have is a solid legal foundation for these cases. In the court decision that led to the previous net neutrality order being overturned—which resulted in these new reclassification rules—the court made clear
that reclassification would be key to giving the FCC the authority to enforce open internet rules, as did a previous ruling from the Supreme Court. The FCC is on solid legal footing in terms of its authority to take this action, and that should
be the primary concern of courts.
The FCC might ask for a dismissal of these cases, since they are indeed premature. That would mean just a delay in the onslaught of lawsuits.
Comcast is furious. They want to destroy our victory with their massive power in Congress. You won net neutrality. Now, are you ready to defend it? Call the congressional committees.