Net neutrality supporters ask court to reconsider ruling that upheld FCC repeal

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The fight to reinstate network neutrality rules could return to federal court, if public-interest advocates, consumer groups, and tech companies including Mozilla get their way [as well as the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society]. The groups asked a panel of judges to rehear a case that upheld a Federal Communications Commission decision to repeal the government’s open-Internet rules.

In Oct, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit determined that the FCC acted lawfully when it voted in 2017 to unwind the protections that had required AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and other telecom giants to treat all Web traffic equally. But the petitioners argued in filings Dec 13 that the DC Circuit erred in its reasoning. Some said judges misinterpreted decades-old legal precedent, giving the FCC too much leeway without considering the facts, and they asked some or all of the panel to reconsider the decision to uphold the repeal. Mozilla and its allies also faulted the FCC for having “abdicated its ability to regulate the behavior of ISPs for the first time in its history.” It is ultimately up to the judges whether to grant the request, which some net neutrality advocates concede is far from guaranteed. But net neutrality backers stress the request for a rehearing reflects their unwavering push to restore the widely supported open-Internet protections two years after the FCC decided to dismantle them.

“It’s critically important to the future to the Internet that net neutrality and important FCC oversight, get reinstated,” said Benton Senior Fellow and Public Advocate Gigi Sohn. She noted that advocates “should use every means possible, including the rehearing petition,” in their efforts to restore net neutrality.  Andrew Jay Schwartzman, senior counselor for the Benton Institute, said, “Changes in the way Internet service is delivered and other facts that the panel overlooked justify a different result: reversal of all elements of the FCC’s decision."

Net neutrality supporters ask court to reconsider ruling that upheld FCC repeal Read the Petition Groups Push for Rehearing of Net Neutrality Decision (B&C) FCC’s “illogical” claim that broadband isn’t telecommunications faces appeal (ars technica) Public Knowledge Files Petition for Rehearing of Net Neutrality Case Before D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (PK)