This past Friday the DC Circuit Court of Appeals heard three hours of oral arguments on the legality of the FCC’s net neutrality order. The case is a result of a suit filed by internet service providers seeking to overturn the FCC’s recent net neutrality rules. A decision is not expected until the spring. Reading the tea leaves, both sides argue that they have grounds to feel some optimism. Opponents of the rule note that the judges seemed receptive to their procedural objections noting that the FCC may not have adequately notified parties of the issues at hand. Whether this will be enough to vacate the rules themselves remains to be seen. Proponents of the rules think that two of the three judges were sympathetic to the FCC on the policy and policy matters even though both sides received sharp questioning on these issues.
LGBT Tech will continue to monitor this proceeding and bring updates as they arise. LGBT Tech supports an Internet policy that ensures full and equal access for LGBT consumers and remains concerned that applying 1930s era regulation to a modern technology may have unintended consequences. We will continue to urge Congress to develop rules specifically for broadband internet service providers that take into account current needs and realities.
An audio file of the arguments may be heard here (the case is United States Telecom Association v. FCC): https://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/recordings/recordings.nsf/DocsByMonday?OpenView&StartKey=20151220151130&Count=12&scode=2