ACA Files 'Insurance' Net Neutrality Motions

The American Cable Association has filed petitions in three federal courts to be allowed to intervene on behalf of the FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom network neutrality rule rollback.

As soon as the order has been published in the Federal Register--it had not been at press time--challengers to the rollback can file suit, but some petitions to overturn the rules have already been filed in multiple courts just in case they would be considered in the decision on which court will ultimately hear the challenge. So, ACA is filing early to intervene as well, even though it expects those early petitions to be rejected because the item has yet to be published.

Related: Public Knowledge Takes Early Shot at Net Reg Rollback

The FCC has asked the court to dismiss those early petitions.

ACA said it meets the standard for intervening, primarily because its members are directly affected by the FCC's decision to reclassify ISPs as Title I information services.

Related: OTI Joins Early Challenge of Rule Rollback

The motions were filed in the First Circuit, Ninth Circuit, and D.C. Circuit.

The Republican FCC voted Dec. 14 on the order, which rolled back Title II classification of ISPs, wired and wireless, and reversed the net neutrality regulations against online blocking, throttling and paid prioritization.

When appeals of an agency decision are filed in multiple circuits, a lottery is held to see which court gets the case. That lottery generally doesn't happen until after a decision is published in the Federal Register. But in the ISP challenge to the 2015 Open Internet order, early filings were considered -- there was some ambiguity about the trigger date -- and the lottery held based on those.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.