The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says it will implement its net neutrality provisions despite objections from telcos.
The FCC issued a ruling on Friday denying a motion from trade groups USTelecom and CTIA, among others, to stay the FCC’s Open Internet proceedings pending legal challenges to the FCC order.
The decision allows the FCC to proceed with its plans to implement its Open Internet rules, including the controversial implementation of Title II reclassification to make internet service a “common carrier” platform subject to tighter regulations.
The plan also includes three core “bright line” rules against throttling, blocking, and paid prioritization. Those were not challenged in the petition, the FCC noted.
Telco industry groups have been fiercely fighting the Open Internet rules. They have filed legal challenges both in the courts and through their allies in Congress seeking to roll back the FCC’s power to set rules for carriers.
In its ruling, the FCC declared that the petitioners could not establish reasonable grounds to stay the rules, even with the court appeal currently ongoing. In order to do so, the FCC said, a petitioner must not only show that they are likely to win the case and would suffer irreparable harm absent a stay, but also show that a stay is in the public interest and would not harm other parties.
“Petitioners have failed to demonstrate that they are likely to succeed on the merits,” the FCC said. “The Commission’s classification of fixed and mobile [broadband internet access service] as telecommunications services falls well within the Commission’s statutory authority, is consistent with Supreme Court precedent, and fully complies with the Administrative Procedure Act.”
Though it wasn’t what opponents were hoping to hear, the ruling is far from the end of the road in the fight over the FCC rules. Even as the commission moves forward, legal challenges could still roll back the regulations. ®