The wireless industry’s lobbying group in the CTIA formally filed a request to stay the FCC’s new Title II internet regulations last Friday, May 1st. The new Net Neutrality regulations were published in the Federal Register on April 13 and are slated to become official policy in 60 days from the publication date, which would be on or around June 13th.
Other related trade organizations have already filed lawsuits seeking to block the rules entirely, but the already filed suits will not prevent them from going into effect. Because of that, the CTIA and its members want to keep the current Open Internet regulations in place until the slate of lawsuits against the FCC go through the courts. CTIA President Meredith Atwell-Baker made the following statement:
“We are very confident the courts will ultimately reject the FCC’s abandonment of its highly successful bipartisan regulatory approach for mobile broadband. Today, with our stay petition, we are asking that the status quo be preserved during the pendency of our court challenge. We recognize that stays are not common, but the uncertainty and serious ramifications stemming from the FCC’s order requires CTIA to take every procedural step available to limit the impact of the FCC’s overreach. The United States leads the world in 4G wireless investment and innovation. CTIA seeks to preserve this winning environment while the courts decipher the FCC’s convoluted arguments.”
The FCC has stated all along that the new rules for Net Neutrality will hold up against any court challenges due to the Title reclassification, which grants it much more authority compared to the previous Open Internet Orders, which were another set of rules with no real power granted to the FCC for enforcement or oversight.
Once the 2010 Open Internet Order was struck down due to a suit won by Verizon in 2012, the wheels were set in motion for Title reclassification and the groundswell of public support for new rules increased to a fever pitch and culminated in February’s vote.
The CTIA is against Title II reclassification for broadband, fearing the increased oversight and increased regulation will lead to less innovation, but is otherwise accepting of the FCC’s key “bright-line rules” in no throttling, no blocking and no paid prioritization.