National Internet Providers End Legal Challenge to California Net Neutrality

Demonstration of network neutrality
A man protests against the FCC’s decision to abolish network neutrality during a demonstration in Los Angeles in 2017. REUTERS / Kyle Grillot

The U.S. broadband industry late Wednesday ended its legal dispute over California’s landmark network neutrality law, which seeks to protect the open internet.

A group of industry associations representing major ISPs, such as AT&T, Verizon Communications, Comcast and others, have rejected their 2018 legal challenge.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last month refused to reconsider a ruling that reaffirmed state law in 2018, which prohibits ISPs from blocking or restricting traffic or offering fast lanes for payment.

“After multiple defeats in court, ISPs have abandoned this effort to block California’s network neutrality enforcement,” said the California Attorney General. Rob Boda he said on Wednesday.

The industry has challenged the law in a joint statement, saying “broadband providers are united in their support for an open Internet connection.” They pledged to work with Congress and Federal Communications Committee to develop a federal approach to resolving issues.

In January, the appeals court ruled 3-0 that a 2017 decision by the FCC to reverse federal Internet protections could not deter government action, dismissing the industry challenge.

Andrew Jay Schwartzman, a senior fellow at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, said, “The end of this trial is a boon to freedom of speech, competition and online innovation.”

The appeals court said that, since the FCC had reclassified internet services in 2017 as lighter-regulated information services, the commission “no longer has the power to regulate in the same way it did when those services were classified as telecommunications services”.

A lower court judge has refused to block the implementation of the California Network Neutrality Act after the Department of Justice withdrew a separate legal challenge to the California State Act in February 2021 – just days after T’s inauguration.

The FCC under former President Barack Obama adopted the rules of net neutrality in 2015. They were overthrown in 2017 by the FCC under then-President Donald Trump. The California Legislature responded by passing a state law requiring network neutrality in August 2018.

The FCC remains 2-2 because Joe Biden’s final candidate, Gigi Sean, has not been approved.

Proponents of network neutrality argue that protections ensure a free and open Internet. Broadband groups argue that the legal basis of pre-Internet rules is outdated and discouraging investment.

National Internet Providers End Legal Challenge to California Net Neutrality Source link National Internet Providers End Legal Challenge to California Net Neutrality

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