AT&T: If FCC Imposes Title II, We'll Sue

AT&T signaled Monday that if the FCC tries to reclassify Internet access as a Title II service, it will take it to court.

The President Monday advised the FCC to reclassify access as Title II, saying that was the best way to prevent paid prioritization and keep the Internet open and free.

AT&T senior executive VP Jim Cicconi suggested it would be the way to keep the rules tied up in court, and joined a growing chorus of industry stakeholders advising the FCC to defer to Congress any such "tectonic" shift, as NCTA put it.

“We feel the actions called for by the White House are inconsistent with decades of legal precedent as well as Congressional intent," said Cicconi in a statement. "Moreover, if the government were going to make such a momentous decision as regulating the entire Internet like a public utility, that decision is more properly made by the Congress and not by unelected regulators without any public record to support the change in regulation. If the FCC puts such rules in place, we would expect to participate in a legal challenge to such action.”

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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.