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Court Action Continues in Title II Case

At press time there was no word out of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on ISPs request to stay the FCC's Title II reclassification of Internet access, but there was still plenty of action on the legal front.

TechFreedom, and various Internet entrepreneurs asked the court to allow them to intervene on behalf of ISPs' underlying court case challenging the rule.

"The FCC’s blanket ban on paid prioritization will harm us and all other users of cloud-based services, such as Skype, Google Docs, and UStream," said Berin Szoka, president of TechFreedom. "Paid prioritization could mitigate latency, jitter and other user experience problems associated especially with VoIP and video live-streaming. But without the ability to pay for such prioritization, these services will be under-supplied by the market, and broadband providers will under-invest in that capability.”

Elsewhere on the motion to intervene front, the ISPs challenging the rules defended their right to also defend the FCC against a challenge to the rules from groups who say the FCC did not go far enough.

Full Service Network, TruConnect Mobile, Sage Telecommunications and Telscape Communications together challenged the new rules, saying they did not go far enough. They want the FCC to apply all of Title II (the commission chose not to apply many of the common carrier requirements), something ISPs clearly disagree with given they have sued the FCC for applying any of Title II.

Those ISPs, including the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and American Cable Association, petitioned the court to allow them to intervene on the FCC's behalf when it came to the Full Service et al. petition and, not surprisingly, Full Service opposed that motion, saying that the ISPs had given up standing to back the FCC since they were also challenging it.

The ISPs countered that they have legitimate interests "on both sides of the case, as they challenge the regulations the FCC imposed and seek to defend against efforts to subject them to greater regulation."

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.