AT&T, CTIA join legal battle over net neutrality

AT&T, CTIA join legal battle over net neutrality

15 APR 2015

Mobile operator AT&T, trade lobby group CTIA and cable groups all hammered away at the same point in their opposition to the US regulator’s rules on net neutrality.

In identically worded lawsuits, they described the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) order as “arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion”.

Opponents majored on the FCC’s reclassification of mobile and fixed broadband services under Title II of the Communications Act, which dates back to 1934. They claim the approach is outdated and heavyhanded.

Trade body USTelecom was first up with a legal challenge to the FCC.

The lawsuits follow the new rules being published in the Federal Register, a green light for legal challenges. The rules come into effect 60 days after publication in the register on 13 April.

National Cable & Telecommunications Association and the American Cable Association joined the telecoms groups with their own lawsuits.

In a blog post, CTIA President and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker argued the order would put off investors and jack up costs for consumers. The mobile broadband market was already competitive, she argued.

“Instead of promoting greater industry investment in the connected world of tomorrow, the FCC opted to resuscitate a command-and-control regulatory regime, including a process where innovators must first seek permission from the FCC before rolling out new services,” said Baker.

For its part, the FCC argued it has reinterpreted Title II for the 21st century and it is a piece of light-touch regulation that is equal to the task.

Author

Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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