March 19, 2018

ACA Files To Support FCC In Lawsuit Challenging Agency’s Open Internet Order

Motion To Intervene Filed With 9th Circuit

PITTSBURGH, March 19, 2018 – Smaller Internet Service Providers (ISPs) represented by the American Cable Association have taken new legal action to help defend the Federal Communications Commission’s ruling that restored light-touch regulation to providers of high-quality broadband facilities and infrastructure to millions of users in rural America.

On Friday, the ACA filed a motion to intervene in the case with the U.S. Court of Appeals of the 9th Circuit.

Headquartered in San Francisco, the 9th Circuit was recently selected by lottery to hear the case challenging the FCC’s ruling last December to reclassify ISPs as information service providers. That FCC action overturned the prior FCC’s 2015 ruling that classified ISPs as common carriers, disregarding decades of agency precedent.

ACA in the motion told the court that it believes it meets the requirements for intervention. Namely, 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.

ACA member companies, which include not only traditional cable operators but also municipally owned systems and electric co-ops, pass over 18 million homes mostly in rural areas and small cities and provide a wide range of services, including video, voice, high-speed Internet, and dedicated fiber-optic connections to more than 7 million subscribers.

Despite assertions to the contrary spread by advocates of one-sided Net Neutrality rules, smaller ISPs represented by ACA have provided their customers with unrestricted access to lawful Internet content on a consistent basis. The unwarranted common carrier burdens associated with Title II of the Communications Act 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 this court case is 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, phone and broadband companies who provide broadband services for nearly 8 million 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’s members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit