TIA issues court challenge to FCC’s Net Neutrality decisions

July 16, 2015
TIA to court: FCC’s Net Neutrality decisions were 'arbitrary, abuse of discretion.'

TIA CEO Scott Belcher

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the organization representing manufacturers and suppliers of information and communications technology (ICT) equipment, this week announced its intent to file an amicus brief in support of those challenging the legality of the FCC’s recent so-called Open Internet Order.

In a formal request to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to file an amicus brief in the case U.S. Telecom Association, et al., v Federal Communications Commission (FCC), TIA argued that the FCC’s decisions to reclassify the Internet as a Title II utility were “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise not in accordance with law.”

“The FCC arbitrarily eliminated the light regulatory rules in place for over a decade that have allowed the Internet and innovation to flourish,” said TIA CEO Scott Belcher. “The Commission’s order flies in the face of its goal to facilitate connectivity across the country – a mission TIA and its member companies fully support."

Specifically, in the request to the Court, TIA argued that the FCC: rested its decision on data that is irrelevant to the statutory mandates; disregarded pertinent empirical evidence concerning past infrastructure investment patterns; disregarded the effect of the new regulatory restraints on current investment incentives; and failed to grapple with any of the empirical data before it in justifying the virtually standardless Internet conduct rule.

"By all accounts the FCC failed to consider hard evidence that heavy-handed regulations hamper infrastructure investment necessary to deliver broadband to more Americans," continued TIA's Belcher. "In the end, it will be the consumers left without advanced communications networks that will pay for the FCC’s actions.”

The full text of TIA’s request to file an amicus brief is available here.

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