Developments in telecommunications policy being made in the legal system.
Lobbying groups representing broadband internet access service providers—including ACA Connects, NCTA, CTIA and USTelecom—dropped their challenge of a federal district court's ruling upholding California's net neutrality law. The ISPs had already lost a federal district court challenge to the law and two appeals court efforts to block enforcement. The suit was dismissed without prejudice, which means ISPs could refile it if they chose.
Judge Victor Marrero of the United States District Court in Manhattan ruled in favor of T-Mobile’s takeover of Sprint in a deal that would further concentrate corporate ownership of technology, combining the nation’s third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers and creating a new telecommunications giant to take on AT&T and Verizon. The decision concluded an unusual suit filed in June by attorneys general from 13 states and the District of Columbia. The challenge was brought after regulators at the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission approved the deal.
On November 5, the Federal Communications Commission gave its final OK, approving—with conditions—the transfer of control applications filed by T-Mobile and Sprint. T-Mobile's acquisition of Sprint was first announced April 29, 2018, touting the capacity to rapidly create a nationwide 5G network while offering lower prices, better quality, unmatched value, and greater competition. Is that where we've ended up? Although T-Mobile's acquisition of Sprint has gotten approval from both the U.S. Department of Justice and the FCC, the deal isn't done yet.
We uphold the 2018 Order, with two exceptions. First, the Court concludes that the Federal Communications Commission has not shown legal authority to issue its Preemption Directive, which would have barred states from imposing any rule or requirement that the FCC “repealed or decided to refrain from imposing” in the Order or that is “more stringent” than the Order. 2018 Order ¶ 195. The Court accordingly vacates that portion of the Order.
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.
With the US.Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit signaling it planned to hold the Feb. 1 oral argument in Mozilla vs.
The Federal Communications Commission’s 2018 Restoring Internet Freedom (RIF) Order reclassified mobile broadband Internet access service from a commercial mobile service to a private mobile service, largely by ignoring the integration of the Internet with the telephone network. This reclassification gave the FCC the license to repeal the 2015 net neutrality rules for mobile broadband service. How did this FCC get to the conclusion that the most important public mobile service of our time is a private mobile service?
The US Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to the DC Circuit's 2016 decision upholding the Federal Communications Commission’s network neutrality rules. The Supreme Court also declined to vacate the DC Circuit's decision as moot.
The US Supreme Court has declined to hear the broadband industry's challenge of the Federal Communications Commission's 2015 order to impose net neutrality rules and strictly regulate broadband.
After Gov Jerry Brown (D-CA) signed California's net neutrality legislation into law AND the US Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the state of California, a number of policymakers and advocates responded:
Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA): “The enactment of California’s net neutrality law is a huge victory for the free and open internet. California has shown Washington and the rest of the country that the internet warriors fighting to save net neutrality will not be stopped."