MMTC: Net Neutrality Order Is Arbitrary, Capricious

The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC) has asked a D.C. federal appeals court to vacate the FCC's Open Internet order, saying the FCC's "failure to address the impact of its Order on the digitally disadvantaged is in our opinion why the decision is arbitrary and capricious and should be vacated.”

In an amicus brief filed in support of ISP's challenge to the Title II-based order, MMTC said the FCC had disregarded the harm Title II could do to broadband opportunities for unserved and underserved communities.

MMTC said it supported an open Internet, but said it did not think antiquated rules were the appropriate means to that end.

That is because it says Title II will discourage the investment and innovation needed to address "disparities in the affordability of broadband for low-income consumers."

The FCC for the first time is applying net neutrality rules, including Title II classification, to mobile broadband.

Given that diverse communities are disproportionately high users for mobile devices for broadband access, MMTC said that Title II "could serve to widen, rather than narrow, the digital divide for communities that have been heavily reliant on these services."

Among the FCC majority that approved the rules—the vote was 3-2—was Mignon Clyburn, the first African American female chair of the FCC. She has talked frequently about the fact that lower-income and minorities are more reliant on mobile for broadband access than the general population, but argued they also deserved "a robust experience on par with their wired peers," and thus supported "erasing the distinction."

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.