Supreme Court rejects challenge to 2015 net neutrality rules

Two legal decisions on net neutrality came out within the past few weeks.

Recall that in 2015 the Wheeler FCC adopted strong net neutrality rules. Those rules reclassified broadband as a telecom service and prohibited blocking, slowing, and any favorable treatment of websites. In 2016, the DC Court of Appeals upheld the Wheeler rules over a challenge by the broadband industry.

This week, the Supreme Court refused to hear the industry’s appeal, allowing the D.C. Circuit’s 2016 favorable ruling to stand. But this doesn’t make the Wheeler net neutrality rules the law of the land. That’s because in 2017 the Republican FCC under Chairman Ajit Pai rescinded the 2015 rules, eliminating virtually all open Internet protections. The challenge to those rules is currently before the D.C. Circuit Court.

In the interim, a number of states -- most notably California -- passed net neutrality legislation. The Justice Department (DOJ) promptly filed suit challenging California’s net neutrality law. But in October, California and the Justice Department reached a temporary agreement in which California agreed to halt enforcement of the law and the DOJ agreed to drop its legal challenge, pending the DC Circuit Court’s decision on the Pai net neutrality rule.

We hope that’s all clear.

The Communications Workers of America supports three bright-line, common sense rules – no blocking, no throttling, and no favorable treatment of some websites and applications over others – to protect a free and open Internet.

Links:

The Supreme Court won’t take up net neutrality (Washington Post, Nov. 5, 2018)
 

California agrees not to enforce its net neutrality law as Justice Dept. puts lawsuit on hold (Washington Post, Oct. 26, 2018)
 

Net neutrality goes away on June 11 (Speed Matters, May. 14, 2018)


CWA: FCC vote will damage free and open Internet (Speed Matters, Dec. 14, 2017)