Court Outlines Net Neutrality Argument Logistics

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has released a detailed guide to its network neutrality oral argument scheduled for Feb. 1.

The court is hearing Mozilla et al.'s challenge to the FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom order rolling back regs against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization and reclassifying ISPs, wired and wireless, as Title I information services.

One veteran attorney who has argued before the court said the level of detail for the logistics was unusual and he wasn't sure why there was so much of it, though it might have something to do with the government shutdown.

The FCC had sought a delay of the argument, but the court denied that request.

The argument will be streamed live online, as are all of the court's arguments unless otherwise indicated.

Below are the court's instructions:

February 1, 2019 Oral Argument in No. 18-1051, Mozilla Corporation v. FCC

Argument Date & Time: Friday, February 1, 2019, 9:30 A.M.

Courtroom: Oral arguments will be heard in Courtroom 20 on the Sixth Floor.

Overflow Courtroom(s): An audio-video feed of the argument will be broadcast to an overflow courtroom(s) (to be announced), if needed. All rules pertaining to Courtroom 20 (e.g., use of electronic devices) apply to the overflow courtroom(s) as well.

Public Seating: Public seating will be on a first-come, first-seated basis.

Reserved Media Seating: There will be a limited number of seats set aside for the media. Media will be seated on a first-come, first-seated basis until all the media seating is filled. Media representatives must then use the public seating line.

Reserved Seating for the Parties: There will be a limited number of seats set aside for the arguing attorneys. The arguing attorneys have a point of contact to handle the reserved seating for his/her side. Persons with reserved seating should plan to be at the courtroom no later than 8:45 A.M.

Line Standers: Only individuals who actually plan to attend the argument will be allowed to line up inside the courthouse for the arguments. “Line standers” are not permitted. No one will be allowed to hold spaces for other individuals.

Courthouse Entrances: The 3 Street Entrance and the John Marshall Park Entrance will open to the public at 7:00 A.M.

Security Screening: Individuals seeking to attend the arguments must have a government-issued photo ID and allow sufficient time to pass through security screening. Please keep in mind that there may be activity in the District Court which could impact the amount of time it takes to clear security screening. For more information, see our Security Screening policy on our internet site.

Use of Electronic Devices: All visitors are expected to follow the Electronic Device Policy of the Court.

Press Conferences and Media Interviews: Press conferences and media interviews may not be conducted inside the courthouse and annex. Press conferences are typically held in front of the courthouse on the plaza facing Constitution Avenue. For more information, see our Media Policy on our internet site.

Live Streaming: The Court live streams audio of all oral arguments, except when classified or sealed matters must be discussed. A link is provided on the court internet site home page.

Audio Recordings: Audio recordings of the oral arguments will be available by 2:00 P.M. on February 1, 2019.

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.