Berninger, Alamo Assail New Net Neutrality Rules

Alamo Broadband and VoIP pioneer Daniel Berninger have filed their joint brief in opposition to the FCC's Open Internet rules, saying the new rules are unconstitutional and unsustainable.

Unlike the major cable operators and ISPs—who are filing separately and challenging Title II reclassification, a new general Internet conduct standard and including interconnection under Title II, but not the three bright-line rules—Berninger and Alamo want all the rules struck, saying that they compel speech.

The deadline for filing initial briefs in the challenge to the rules being heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is Thursday.

The FCC adopted rules preventing blocking or degrading Internet content and paid prioritization of content. Alamo and Berninger say that is unconstitutional because it compels speech.

"The rules are subject to strict scrutiny because they compel providers to carry all speech, including political speech with which providers disagree, and because the rules discriminate among speakers on the Internet," they argued, but added that they fail "any level of scrutiny."

The new network neutrality rules took effect June 12.

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.