Internet groups urge US court to reinstate ‘net neutrality’ rules

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WASHINGTON – A coalition of trade groups representing companies including Alphabet Inc, Facebook Inc and Amazon.com Inc, urged a US appeals court to reinstate landmark “net neutrality” rules adopted in 2015 to guarantee an open internet.
In a legal filing yesterday (27), the Internet Association, Entertainment Software Association, Computer & Communications Industry Association, and Writers Guild of America West urged the reversal of the Trump administration decision to overturn the rules in December.
“Rules regulating the conduct of (internet providers) continue to be needed to protect and promote an open internet,” the groups wrote in a brief filed with the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Last week, 22 states and the District of Columbia, asked the same appeals court to reinstate the prior rules after the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 in December along party lines to reverse rules that barred internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or throttling traffic or offering paid fast lanes, also known as paid prioritization.
The FCC handed sweeping new powers to internet providers to recast how Americans use the internet — as long as they disclose any changes. The new rules took effect in early June but major providers have made no changes in internet access.
The internet groups, which also represent Netflix Inc , Microsoft Corp, Twitter Inc, Uber Technologies Inc and many other tech firms, harshly criticized the FCC repeal and questioned its legal basis.
The brief calls the FCC’s decision “unreasoned and unreasonable” and says its “flawed analysis runs counter to the record and departs from the (FCC’s) previous factual findings without explanation.”
The groups also reject the FCC’s argument that enhanced transparency will allow market forces to ensure consumer access to an open internet.
Reuters

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