Net neutrality supporters predict tough court battle over FCC's repeal plan

Network neutrality supporters are predicting that the Federal Communications Commission will have a hard time defending its decision to repeal its landmark rules in court.  “The draft order seems to say that the FCC is no longer interested in exercising its responsibilities as an expert agency,” said Jonathan Sallet, a former FCC general counsel under the Obama administration. “I do not believe a court of appeals will uphold this order,” he added.

Tom Wheeler, the former Democratic FCC Chairman who pushed the rules through in 2015, added that the repeal represents the “successful culmination of a grand plan” by companies like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T. “What we’re talking about here is the Trump FCC, in cooperation with the Republican Congress, taking away existing consumer protections at the request of the industry,” Wheeler said. “This is a classic example of the regulators being captured by those they are supposed to oversee.” 

Sen Edward Markey (D-MA) dismissed calls from Republicans to come up with a legislative replacement to the FCC rules, arguing that there’s still a chance to save the regulations. “It’s a very vulnerable decision that they’re about to make,” Sen Markey said. “I think we have a very good chance of prevailing in court.”

[Jon Sallet is currently serving as a Benton Senior Fellow]


Net neutrality supporters predict tough court battle over FCC's repeal plan (The Hill) Tom Wheeler slams Ajit Pai’s plan to kill net neutrality rules (ars technica)