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Netflix, Dish Join FCC in Title II Fight

The FCC's friends are coming out in force.

At press time, there were 16 separate petitions asking to intervene in support of the FCC's reclassification of ISP's under Title II common carrier regs and against a challenge by cable and telco associations and entities, according to the docket for filings to the U.S. Court of Appeals, which is hearing the case.

The list includes Netflix, Dish, Tumblr, Kickstarter, Etsy, Public Knowledge, the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates, Union Square Ventures, Level 3, Cogent, Vimeo and the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners.

According to an attorney familiar with the process, they could all theoretically file separate briefs in support of the FCC, but will be encouraged by the court to team up where possible.

Interveners become parties to the case.

The FCC's new network neutrality rules go into effect June 12 unless the court stays them.

Cable and telcos, which are asking for a court stay after being denied one by the FCC, are not challenging the underlying bright-line rules against blocking, throttling or paid prioritization, which they say they can support under different authority than a common carrier remake (except wireless carriers, who oppose extending those bright-line rules to mobile). Instead, they are seeking a partial stay from the court of the Title II classification, extension of Title II to interconnections, and the open-ended general conduct standard with which the FCC can judge various novel or future Internet openness obstacles on a case-by-case basis.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association, American Cable Association, USTelecom and CTIA: The Wireless Association have all asked the court to stay the rules until it hears their underlying challenge.

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.