FCC struggles to convince judge that broadband isn’t “telecommunications”

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Federal Communications Commission General Counsel Thomas Johnson faced a skeptical panel of judges of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit as he defended the agency's repeal of net neutrality rules and deregulation of the broadband industry. Johnson struggled to explain why broadband shouldn't be considered a telecommunications service, and struggled to explain the FCC's failure to protect public safety agencies from Internet providers blocking or slowing down content. Circuit Judge Patricia Millett expressed the most skepticism of Johnson's arguments, repeatedly challenging the FCC's definition of broadband and its disregard for arguments made by public safety agencies. She also questioned the FCC's claim that the net neutrality rules harmed broadband investment. Circuit Judge Robert Wilkins also expressed some skepticism of FCC arguments, while Senior Circuit Judge Stephen Williams seemed more amenable to FCC arguments. (Judge Williams previously dissented in part from a 2016 ruling that upheld the Obama-era net neutrality rules. Now the same court is considering FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's repeal of those rules.)

FCC struggles to convince judge that broadband isn’t “telecommunications” Net neutrality: Federal judges had tough questions for the FCC (Washington Post) What we learned from net neutrality’s big day in court (Vox) DC Court Gets Earful on Net Regulation Rollback (Broadcasting and Cable) Video: Mozilla Gets Day in Court to Restore Net Neutrality (Bloomberg) Tech companies, states spar with govt over net neutrality (AP) Net Neutrality Back in Court: Takeaways From Marathon Oral Arguments (Variety) Judges grill FCC lawyer over net neutrality repeal (The Hill) Net Neutrality Repeal at Stake as Key Court Case Starts (New York Times) Judges Weigh FCC’s Net Neutrality Rollback in High-Stakes Internet Case (WSJ) Tech companies, states spar with FCC over net neutrality (Philadelphia Tribune)