News Ticker

Net neutrality sent to Fed Register–more lawsuits imminent

Internet service attorneys start your briefs. The Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality order was sent to the Federal Register on Wednesday, according to an FCC official.

The order, passed Feb. 26, could be published within days, setting off the inevitable court challenges.

The National Cable and Telecommunications Association and the CTIA:the Wireless Association, two of the bigger dogs in the debate, are prepping lawsuits.

Two parties already sued the FCC when the commission published the order on its web site last month. USTelecom, representing some of the nation’s biggest broadband providers like AT&T and Verizon, filed in the DC court of appeals. Alamo Broadband, a small broadband provider outside San Antonio, Texas, filed in the court of appeals in the fifth circuit in New Orleans.

USTelecom said it filed its suit as a precaution to preserve its legal rights. But the FCC said it believed the petitions for review were “premature and subject to dismissal.”

The FCC’s net neutrality order, passed Feb. 26 in a party-line vote was contentious in its drafting and it is likely to continue for some time.

“Litigation could hold up net neutrality policy for three-to-four years and be taken all the way to the Supreme Court,” predicted Mike O’Rielly, GOP FCC commissioner, on Wednesday.

Republicans in Congress are hoping that a drawn-out legal fight will work in their favor to convince Democrats that the only way to codify net neutrality rules is through a legislative solution.

The FCC net neutrality order would go in effect 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register.