Manufacturers: FCC Got Net Neutrality Right

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and U.S. Chamber of Commerce are standing strongly behind the FCC's deregulation of internet access in the 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom Order.

That order, which eliminated the rules against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization as well as a general conduct rule against unspecified threats to the free and open internet, was challenged in federal court by Mozilla and others.

In an amicus (friend of the court) brief, NAM and the chamber, who are friends of the FCC in this case, said that with internet-driven tech at "the heart" of modern manufacturing the FCC's decision to roll back those "onerous" rules was a victory for competition.

Related: FCC Defends Internet Dereg as Justifiable Light-Touch Remake

"The previous administration’s decision to regulate the internet with a more than 70-year-old law designed to govern the use of rotary telephones only burdened manufacturers with uncertainty," said NAM senior VP and general counsel Linda Kelly. "We are confident the court will agree that the FCC acted within the law to end the Obama-era FCC’s heavy-handed approach that was neither appropriate nor necessary for the rapidly evolving, highly competitive broadband market.”

The FCC does not have to prove that the conclusions it based its decision on were the only correct reading of the facts or even the "right" approach, only that the commission was not arbitrary and capricious in reversing the previous FCC's decision to impose the rules and reclassify ISPs as common carriers subject to mandatory access requirements.

The amicus argue that "[t]he Commission’s return to form is eminently justified given the highly competitive nature of the broadband market and the importance of removing unnecessary barriers to further investment and innovation."

Also signing on to the brief were the Business Roundtable and the Telecommunications Industry Association.

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.