Background: USTelecom jointly filed a petition today asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to stay the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) open Internet order. The filing asks the court to rule on the petition by June 11, 2015, a day before the rules take effect.
The following statement is from USTelecom President Walter McCormick:
“USTelecom strongly supports an open Internet. Our member companies have invested hundreds of billions of dollars to make that Internet a reality. We are not seeking to stay the order’s bright-line rules prohibiting blocking, throttling and paid prioritization. However, as we said in our previous stay request with the FCC, we are seeking to stay this ill-conceived order’s reclassification of broadband service as a public utility service. This reclassification does not serve the public interest, but unlawfully paves the way toward expansive government management of the Internet.
The facts show the FCC had no adequate legal basis for reclassifying broadband Internet access service as a Title II utility telecommunications service. The order does not provide a solid legal basis for overriding the governing statute and decades of commission and court decisions that contradict this changed classification. Once implemented, the order will result in huge burdens on companies of all sizes, and create an open season of regulation and litigation that imposes immediate and unrecoverable costs. These harms are described in detail in filings from 22 companies, including well-documented difficulties faced by rural providers that the FCC’s stay denial sweepingly dismisses with no explanation.
Our petition also requests that, at a minimum, the court should grant expedited review of this case.”
USTelecom is the nation’s leading trade association representing broadband service providers and suppliers. Its diverse member base ranges from large publicly traded communications corporations to small companies and cooperatives – all providing advanced communications services to markets both urban and rural.