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NCTA and ACA to Seek Title II Court Stay

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association and American Cable Association plan to seek a stay of the FCC's Title II reclassification in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and hope to tag team on the pitch.

The FCC almost certainly won't grant stay petitions, since it would have to conclude the just-passed rules have a likelihood of being illegal, so the federal court is the next stop.

According to a request to the court to exceed its page limit for stay requests by combining on a single brief, NCTA and the ACA signaled they would both be seeking the court stay. Their petitions to the FCC to stay the decision are not due until Friday (May 8).

The two cable trade groups have independently sued the FCC in the D.C. Circuit over its Feb. 26 party line decision to classify ISPs as common carriers, but want to file jointly given that they both "intend to move this Court to stay the Order’s reclassification of broadband Internet access service under Title II (but not its bright-line Open Internet rules) pending judicial review, or alternatively to grant expedited briefing. As petitioners will explain in requesting a stay, this Court is likely to overturn the Order’s departure from settled regulatory policy on the merits, petitioners’ members will suffer severe and irreparable harms when the Order becomes effective on June 12, 2015, and a stay would cause no harm to respondents or the public because it would merely maintain the status quo until the lawfulness of the Order is adjudicated."

Rather than file two 20-page motions (the limit for those requests), they want the court to let them team up on a single, 35-page motion. "Petitioners’ distinct but overlapping interests warrant additional pages," they said, which would also save paper in the long run they said, (reducing the total from 40 to 35).

John Eggerton
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.