On the Net Neutrality National Day of Action, the Benton Foundation today appealed the Federal Communications Commission's 2017 order to repeal its strong network neutrality rules, by filing a petition for review in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The petition argues that the decision to rescind the classification of broadband internet access service as a telecommunications service and the strong net neutrality rules adopted under former-FCC Chair Thomas Wheeler violates the Communications Act and other statutes. The following may be attributed to Benton Executive Director Adrianne B. Furniss:
The Restoring Internet Freedom order will allow giant telecommunications companies to create "fast lanes" and other discriminatory practices that will stifle innovation and diminish the Internet as a platform for free expression.
Already under investigation for shady deals favoring Sinclair Broadcasting, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai was possibly unlawfully awarded a rifle from the NRA for the 'courage' to stand up against the facts, the law, and the American people with his Restoring Internet Freedom order. It just provides us with more ammunition to make the argument that when it comes to the legal and policy arguments behind the reversal of net neutrality -- he’s been shooting all along with nothing but blanks.
Benton thanks Andrew Jay Schwartzman for acting as Benton's lead counsel on this issue. Schwartzman, who led the Media Access Project for 34 years and now serves as Benton Senior Counselor at Georgetown Law Center's Institute for Public Representation, is recognized by many as the “dean” of public interest communications attorneys.
Benton, a non-profit, operating foundation, believes that communications policy—rooted in the values of access, equity, and diversity—has the power to deliver new opportunities and strengthen communities to bridge our divides.