NHMC Files Suit Against Net Neutrality Rules Rollback

The National Hispanic Media Coalition filed suit against the FCC's Restoring Network Neutrality order Friday (Feb. 23), one of several legal challenges expected to be filed.

The suit was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the court with principal jurisdiction over challenges to government agency rules.

The order's publication in the Federal Register Thursday (Feb. 22) triggered the window for filing legal challenges to the Dec. 14 decision to eliminate the rules against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization, as well as a general conduct standard that could get at other ISP activity.

NHMC says it is suing the FCC to protect the rights of Latinos and other marginalized communities to speak and be heard online."

NHMC argues the order--actually a declaratory ruling, report and order, and order--is arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of the FCC's discretion.

Related: FCC, FTC Will Team Up to Monitor Open Internet

In the order portion, the FCC denied NHMC's motion that informal FCC complaints NHMC had obtained through a FOIA request be included in the record and put out for comment before a decision, calling it a "pretext for delay."

“Throughout the proceeding NHMC uncovered 50,000 of the FCC’s own net neutrality consumer complaints -- clear evidence that the 2015 Open Internet Order provided adequate consumer protections," said NHMC VP and general counsel Carmen Scurato. "Nonetheless, the FCC charged ahead without considering this key evidence as part of its rulemaking proceeding, a striking violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. NHMC will continue to raise this fatal error in process and will fight in court to reinstate Title II Net Neutrality.”

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.