Trade Group Seeks To Intervene In Three Federal Appellate Courts In Cases Brought By Title II Advocates
PITTSBURGH, February 16, 2018 – Some of the smallest Internet Service Providers in the country took legal action this week in an effort to support the Federal Communications Commission’s decision last December to restore light-touch regulation of firms that are responsible for providing high-quality broadband facilities and infrastructure to millions of users in rural America.
Subsequent to the FCC’s landmark vote – which, technically, has yet to take legal effect – petitions for review were filed in three federal appellate courts in an attempt to thwart the FCC’s determination to classify ISPs as information service providers. In 2015, the FCC, under different leadership, imposed draconian Title II common carrier regulation on all ISPs in a sharp break with the FCC’s traditional light oversight of ISPs.
“ACA expects these new petitions filed in these appellate courts will be deemed ‘prematurely filed’ because the FCC’s ruling has not yet been published in the Federal Register, a critical procedural hurdle. The FCC has already moved to dismiss them. To the extent one or more of the cases are not dismissed, ACA’s protective motions preserve our right to participate,” ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.
ACA told the courts in these motions that it believes it meets the requirements for intervention. ACA is a trade association of small and medium-sized cable companies that regularly represents its members and their interests before regulatory agencies such as the FCC, including in the present proceedings. Many of ACA’s members provide broadband Internet access service, and thus are “directly affected” by the FCC’s declaratory ruling.
Notwithstanding red herrings spread by rigid adherents to Title II, smaller ISPs represented by ACA have consistently provided their customers with unrestricted access to lawful Internet content. The unwarranted burdens associated with Title II made these ISPs reluctant to invest in their broadband networks and explore offering innovative services.
The FCC’s move to restore Internet freedom will benefit the entire Internet economy, especially consumers, who deserve the best communications networks possible. ACA intends to make these arguments forcefully when these court cases are eventually heard.
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing nearly 750 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for nearly 7 million cable subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit https://acaconnects.org/