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US telcos file lawsuit against FCC net neutrality ruling

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The FCC’s February net neutrality ruling is turning into the industry’s ongoing soap opera, with news emerging out of the United States that USTelecom, the association representing pretty much all of the country’s telcos, is filing a lawsuit against the FCC. The association claims the regulator’s open Internet order violates federal law.

USTelecom represents the majority of carriers in the United States; and includes senior ranking regulatory officials from AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, NTT and Frontier Communications among its board members.

The filing against the FCC was publically announced by USTelecom President, Walter McCormick, in which he claims the regulator has taken the wrong approach to implementing the net neutrality ruling.

“In challenging the legality of the FCC’s Open Internet order, USTelecom believes the FCC used the wrong approach to implementing net neutrality standards, which our industry supports and incorporates into everyday business practices,” he said.

Moreover, it appears that the objections of USTelecom stem on what appears to be the FCC’s seemingly contradicting approach to previous precedent.

“Our appeal is not focused on challenging the objectives articulated by the President, but instead the unjustifiable shift backward to common carrier regulation after more than a decade of significantly expanded broadband access and services for consumers under light-touch regulation,” he said. “Reclassifying broadband Internet access as a public utility reverses decades of established legal precedent at the FCC and upheld by the Supreme Court.”

US telcos universally slammed the FCC’s February ruling on net neutrality, with Verizon, Comcast and AT&T all publically stating their staunch opposition to the regulation. Verizon even retorted satirically to the news by releasing a statement dated February 26th 1934 (the year in which the first Communications Act was passed), and presented with a typewriter font, suggesting a retrograde route is being taken by the FCC.


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