U.S. Telecom Companies File Lawsuits Over Net Neutrality

U.S. Telecom Companies File Lawsuits Over Net Neutrality
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The Federal Communications Commission okayed net neutrality rules last month. As a result, telecom companies are putting up a fight. On Monday, lawsuits were filed against the FCC. The lawsuits claim the new rules violate the Constitution, procedural requirements and federal communications laws.

Alamo Broadband and the U.S. Telecom Association (which includes major telephone companies such as AT&T and Verizon) filed the lawsuits. The arguments lack details, and each lawsuit is limited to three pages. The documents still offer a small hint at the arguments provided by the telecom companies against the FCC.

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A look at the telecom lawsuits

According to the U.S. Telecom Associations, the regulations are arbitrary and abuse of discretion. This claim suggests the FCC did not give an adequate amount of facts to delegate broadband service as a utility. The lawsuit also claims the rules are unconstitutional. Such regulations purport the First Amendment by simply denying internet service providers the right to edit content. It also purportedly violates the Fifth Amendment by taking ISP property.

The U.S. Telecom lawsuit also claims the new rules go against the Communications Act. Internet service providers could claim the broadband networks do not meet criteria for Title II. Last, but certainly not least, the lawsuit claims the FCC failed to comply with rules that required the agency to give public notice and give an opportunity to comment.

Net neutrality supporters open up about lawsuits

Although the FCC provided a notice last May, some critics claim last year’s proposal is drastically different from final rules accepted last February. The FCC had to release the revised proposal and garner further comments before taking the last vote.

Net neutrality supporters believe the lawsuits are pointless. Free Press columnist Matt Wood said telecom and cable lobbyists need to accept the new rules as the right thing. He said Title II of the Communications Act is the solid basis of Open Internet Rules.

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