Telecom operators in the US are fighting against the new US rules on net neutrality. Telecompaper.com reported that some industry associations filed a new appeal against the Open Internet Order, which took effect on 12 June 2015 following the publication by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
On 27 July, the DC Circuit of the US Court of Appeals rejected a previous petition for a review of the order, saying that the FCC acted with the appropriate authority in its decision to reclassify broadband as a telecom service and subject it to stricter regulations. The FCC now reported that the operators have filed for an en banc rehearing (a session in which a case is heard before all the judges of a court) of the court’s decision. According to telecompaper.com industry association USTelecom confirmed it filed the appeal, while cable groups ACA and NCTA and mobile association CTIA said they were also appealing the rules.
The new rules, adopted in late February by the US regulator, apply to fixed and mobile broadband providers alike and prohibit internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or slowing access to any legal content, applications, services or devices. The FCC also banned paid prioritisation, so broadband providers may not favour certain internet traffic over others. In addition broadband providers will be required to give more information about the quality of their services “in a consistent format” on all promotional rates, fees and surcharges and data caps. They will also include packet loss as a measure of network performance, and provide notice of network management practices that can affect service. Providers with 100,000 or fewer subscribers may be exempt from these requirements.
The FCC’s authority for the new rules is based on the reclassification of broadband internet access as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. In a concession to industry, parts of Title II will not be applied to broadband services, most importantly price regulation. ISPs will also be exempt from the USF contributions and certain state and local taxes charged for other telecom services.