Dish, Others Ask Court to Reject Title II Stay

WASHINGTON — No surprise here, but supporters of Title II-based network neutrality rules — including Public Knowledge, Free Press, Cogent, COMPTEL, Dish Network and others — have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to deny petitions by cable and telco ISPs to stay implementation of the FCC's reclassification of Internet access as a common-carrier service until the court has heard their underlying challenge.

In the opposition to the motion to stay, the groups and companies said that a stay would "deny customers the guarantee of an Open Internet while causing uncertainty for companies and consumers alike."

The ISPs have not asked the FCC to stay the bright-line rules against blocking, throttling or paid prioritization, but do want the court to put a hold on the Title II reclassification, the application of Title II to interconnections, and its general Internet conduct standard.

“For the rules to be stayed, the carriers must meet an exacting legal standard. They have failed to do so," the companies told the court. "First, the D.C. Circuit is likely to uphold the FCC's rules, as the FCC has followed the guidance the D.C. Circuit gave it the last time Open Internet rules were before the court.

“Second, the ‘harms’ the carriers point to are largely imaginary, or nothing more than complaints about being prevented from doing things the rules are supposed to prevent them from doing; e.g., giving preferential treatment to some online content, or harvesting Internet usage data for marketing purposes. Finally, granting a stay of the rules would cause real harm to Internet users, organizations, and businesses of all kinds, and would be contrary to the public interest."

 Absent a stay, the new rules go into effect June 12.

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.