FCC Says Supreme's Decision Backs Its Open Internet Order Authority

The FCC has told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C.
Circuit that the Supreme Court's recent ruling in the FCC tower-siting case
(City of Arlington v. FCC) means the FCC's interpretation of an ISP in the Open
Internet order is due deference by the court.

The appeals court is hearing Verizon's challenge to that
Open Internet order.

In a filing to the court Thursday, followinga similar one by Verizon citing another recent court case, the FCC pointed
to that Supreme Court decision, which held that an agency's interpretation of
the limits of its own authority should be given so called "Chevron
deference" by appeals courts asked to make a ruling on a challenge to that

"Chevron deference thus clearly applies to the
Commission's interpretation of the statutes on which its authority rests in
this [Open Internet] case," FCC attorneys told the court in the filing. "[T]he
agency's reasonable interpretations of provisions in the Communications Act and
the Telecommunications Act of 1996 warrant deference."

The appeals court has yet to schedule oral
argument in the case, but look for FCC lawyers to make the Supreme Court
decision an important part of that argument.

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.