In Court FCC Offers Discredited Defense of Net Neutrality Repeal

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments in Mozilla Corp.  v. FCC, the legal challenge to the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of its 2015 Open Internet Order. The FCC’s repeal not only eliminated bright line net neutrality rules of no blocking, no throttling, and no paid prioritization but also removed the agency’s authority over broadband. Now, there is no longer a cop on the beat to oversee the practices of telecommunications and cable companies. Last August, Common Cause filed an amicus brief outlining the harms of repealing net neutrality to our democracy, civic engagement, and civil rights.

Statement of Michael Copps, Former FCC Commissioner and Common Cause Special Advisor 

Our side’s pro-net neutrality arguments before court today were light years more compelling than the time- worn and discredited arguments of those who oppose a truly open internet. And the Courts have agreed with us, twice upholding the FCC’s 2015 net neutrality rules. There’s no defense for an FCC that completely abdicated its authority over broadband, leaving consumers unprotected and subordinating our democracy to the whims of monopoly telecom and cable companies who have the ability and incentive to control what we do, what we see, and where we go online.

“We urge the DC Circuit to vacate the FCC’s reckless repeal and return to the sound legal framework that ensures the internet is free and open for everyone.”

To read Common Cause’s amicus brief in the case, click here.