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March 19, 2015

Trade Groups Gearing Up to Sue FCC Over Net Neutrality

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Predictions of lawsuits against the Federal Communications Commission for its new Net neutrality rules are about to come true, according to a new report.

Trade associations representing major American Internet service providers are expected to file complaints against the agency, “several people familiar with the plan” told Reuters.

Although it was originally thought that wireless carriers like Verizon and AT&T would sue the FCC for reclassifying broadband Internet as a telecom service, it looks likely the companies will allow the trade groups to take the lead, the report indicated.

By taking the strength in numbers approach, the firms will be able to make their litigation efforts more efficient as well as individually avoid the ire of the FCC.

So far, CTIA-The Wireless Association, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and the broadband association USTelecom are expected to file suit, the sources said. None of the trade groups would verify the rumors, however.

Representatives of the American Cable Association and the National Association of Manufacturers are still discussing if they will participate in litigation, representatives said.

The FCC voted 3-2 last month in favor of Title II classification. Under the new rules, blocking and throttling become major no-nos as does paid prioritization, meaning broadband providers cannot implement “fast lanes” for streaming video providers willing to fork over enough cash.

The new guidelines also hand the Commission the authority to address questionable practices on a case-by-case basis.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.