The FCC just announced its ruling on net neutrality last month, and lawsuits are hitting the agency right off the bat. The FCC declared that the Internet is a utility, which allows the government to regulate it. As such, the FCC created net neutrality rules which treat all web traffic equally. Well, no one likes being told what to do, especially by the government. The telecom industry is up in arms over the FCC’s net neutrality ruling, and now the lawsuits are beginning to trickle in. These lawsuits are part of an industry-wide effort to overturn what private companies believe are the FCC’s unlawful regulations.
Made up from a collection of Internet providers, USTelecom filed a lawsuit in a Washington courtroom. Walter McCormick, president of USTelecom stated,
“We do not believe the Federal Communications Commission’s move to utility-style regulation invoking Title II authority is legally sustainable.”
This likely sums up the opinions of the other companies filing suit, like New Orleans’ Alamo Broadband.
Additionally, the state of Tennessee filed a lawsuit against a separate FCC decision which overturned state laws preventing cities from expanding their own city-run Internet services. Tennessee is one of 20 states that have laws impeding the development of city-run Internet providers, possibly because the municipal services would end up competing against big corporate providers such as Verizon.
Both sides are digging their heels into the issue. The FCC wants more control, and the private companies who are challenging the FCC in court don’t feel that this newfound control and regulation is legally justified. Who knows if this trickle of lawsuits will turn into a deluge, as the real ramifications of this new government regulation have yet to be fully realized.
Source: Washington Post