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Edge Provider Association Backs Suits Against Net Reg Rollback

The Internet Association, which represents major edge providers including Google, Amazon and Facebook, signaled it supports planned legal efforts to overturn the FCC's restoring internet freedom order, which lifts prohibitions on ISPs from blocking, throttling or prioritizing 'net access to content.

The FCC signaled in the order that one benefit of the rule rollback is that the government could look more holistically at potential threats to 'net openness by both edge providers and ISPs, rather than just the ISP portion of the 'net ecosystem.

“The final version of chairman Pai’s rule, as expected, dismantles popular net neutrality protections for consumers. This rule defies the will of a bipartisan majority of Americans and fails to preserve a free and open internet," said IA President Michael Beckman. "IA intends to act as an intervenor in judicial action against this order..."

That means it is not a party to any of the suits, but will support their aim or reversing the decision, which was to reclassify ISPs as non-common carriers and roll back the regs against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization, as well as the general conduct standard meant to get at non-neutral conduct not explicitly prohibited under those bright line rules. IA will be named as an intervenor in the suit and can file a brief, but may or may not get to participate in the oral argument.

IA members will also "continue our push to restore strong, enforceable net neutrality protections through a legislative solution.”

Both sides of the network neutrality debate agree that it would be good for Congress to clarify how the 'net should be regulated, but the "how" and "what" and "by whom" continues to divide them along party and regulatory ideology lines.

A number of net neutrality groups have vowed to sue the FCC over the decision, continuing the legal fight over net neutrality that has been raging for well over a decade.

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.