Reaction to Court’s Striking Down FCC’s Net Neutrality ‘Principles’

Companies and associations released statements following the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Comcast v. FCC, which held that the FCC exceeded its statutory authority in attempting to regulate that network management practices of broadband providers.

CTIA – The Wireless Association, a statement from President and CEO Steve Largent

Today’s unanimous and very thorough opinion in the Comcast case makes clear that the FCC needs to focus on the important task of making the promise of the National Broadband Plan a reality by spurring investment, innovation and job growth, and turn away from calls to impose restrictive regulations on broadband providers and the Internet ecosystem. We look forward to working with the FCC Chairman and Commissioners on these efforts, which are vital to U.S. leadership in the broadband age. This decision from the Court of Appeals suggests that it is time to turn away from murky regulatory debates and focus on connecting all Americans and leading the world in broadband.

Verizon statement, Randal S. Milch, executive vice president and general counsel:

Today’s decision in Comcast vs. FCC will have no impact on the experience of Internet users.  Consumers are in the driver’s seat in today’s market-driven Internet ecosystem, and their interests remain fully protected.  The court recognized that the FCC does have Title I ancillary authority over Internet access.  In this case, the FCC simply failed to link its actions to its statutory responsibilities.  The FCC’s authority supplements the various other consumer protection and competition laws that apply to all members of the Internet ecosystem.\

Comcast statement, Sena Fitzmaurice, vice president of government communications:

We are gratified by the Court’s decision today to vacate the previous FCC’s order.  Our primary goal was always to clear our name and reputation. We have always been focused on serving our customers and delivering the quality open-Internet experience consumers want.   Comcast remains committed to the FCC’s existing open Internet principles, and we will continue to work constructively with this FCC as it determines how best to increase broadband adoption and preserve an open and vibrant Internet.

AT&T statement, Jim Cicconi, senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs:

AT&T made a commitment to abide by the FCC’s Open Internet Principles when they were first formulated in 2005, and we will continue to do so. Those facts have not been changed by today’s action by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. AT&T supports an open Internet. That is what our customers count on us to deliver, and we will not disappoint them.

Moreover, the FCC’s Open Internet Principles work. In the nearly five years since these Principles were put in place, the FCC has encountered only one serious complaint, and even in that case, which was before the court today, the company took steps to address the complaint long before the FCC ruled.

No serious voice has suggested that any abuses are occurring today, nor is there any current conduct that has been argued to violate the Principles. This is because the FCC’s Principles have set forth a standard of conduct that all companies strive to meet.

If, after assessing its options under Title I, the FCC feels it needs to clarify its jurisdiction as a result of today’s decision, we hope the issue would be referred to the U.S. Congress which alone confers the Commission’s legal authority. In any circumstance, AT&T pledges to work constructively with the FCC as it considers these questions.

See also post on the ruling by Marc-Anthony Signorino, our director of technology policy.

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