FCC Wins Legal Challenge To Its Open Internet Order

BY Heather Greenfield
June 14, 2016

Washington – A federal appeals court upheld the FCC’s Open Internet Order, rejecting various substantive and procedural attacks on the agency’s non-discrimination order. The Computer & Communications Industry Association and Mozilla had filed a joint amici curiae brief in the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit supporting the FCC, which the court relied upon in its ruling.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“This is a huge, historic victory for all Internet users. This affirmation of the FCC’s Open Internet Order ensures that the Internet will remain an open platform that empowers consumers, supercharges competition and serves as a catalyst for economic growth.

“This court decision is a win for the principles that founded our democracy and built a strong, innovative economy — free speech rights for all and competitive markets. It means no company can act as a gatekeeper for Internet content. It ensures that smaller startups and service providers will be able to compete on equal terms for Internet traffic with established companies. Upholding the FCC’s Open Internet rules will promote the virtuous cycle of innovation that has been a hallmark of the Internet’s tremendous impact on not just the digital economy but our entire economy.

“One of the main questions before the appeals court was whether the FCC acted within the authority Congress gave it to protect consumers when it reclassified broadband as a telecommunications service. The answer was resoundingly, yes. We hope Congress will now support the FCC as it seeks to effectively implement its Open Internet Order.

“The Internet is increasingly vital as our main communications medium, our means for gathering information, and for sending services and goods around the world. Any other outcome would be disastrous. The Internet is too critical for any company or government to act as a gatekeeper.”

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