Many wireless and cable industry groups filed lawsuits challenging the FCC’s new Open Internet rules. They do not oppose the concept net neutrality; they oppose treating broadband service like a utility under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act.
Despite heated arguments on both sides of the issue, the key to the legal battle is actually very simple: the amount of notice the FCC gave of its rule-making plans, and the time it allowed for public comment. As TF’s Berin Szoka explained in the E-Commerce Times:
“It may seem arcane, but the entire purpose of notice and comment rulemaking is for an agency to lay out clearly enough what it’s thinking of doing in order to draw feedback that’s specific to its proposal,” explained TechFreedom President Berin Szoka.
“What the FCC did was not adequate to ensure that the people commenting on the proposal really knew what the FCC was planning to do,” he told the E-Commerce Times.
While much attention is being focused on Title II and reclassification, the notice objection could send the whole Net neutrality issue back into the FCC’s lap again.
“It’s the most likely grounds for resolving this entire case,” Szoka said, “which means the whole thing will start all over again, most likely in May or June of next year.”