USTelecom goes to court over FCC Title II broadband reclassification stance

USTelecom has taken its position against the FCC's reclassification of broadband as a Title II telecommunications service to the next step, filing a "non-binding statement of issues" with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

According to a Multichannel News story, the telecom industry's advocate organization stated that Title II reclassification violates the Communications Act of 1934, First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and could be based on an "unreasonable interpretation of the statute."

It also questioned whether the FCC has the authority--or if it was even legal--to set terms by which broadband ISPs connect with each other and classify that interconnection as a common carrier telecom service under Title II.

Earlier in the week USTelecom President Walter McCormick, in a speech to the Media Institute, asked Congress to give the FCC clear authority to "adopt and enforce open Internet rules, and to work on updating the Communications Act," in an effort to formalize the agency's regulatory boundaries.

McCormick noted that the telecom industry isn't opposed to voluntary open Internet standards for communications between ISPs.

The FCC, in supporting Title II reclassification, "is exercising authority it has not yet been delegated by the Congress" and its order imposing common carrier regulation on broadband service is "bad for consumers, bad for innovation, bad for investment, bad for American competitiveness in the world economy," he said, according to a blog posting on the organization's website.

McCormick said that he wants bi-partisan support for the changes he is advocating.

"Our position is not partisan or political. It is rooted in economics, the law and the lessons of history," he concluded.

For more:
- see this Multichannel News story
- see this USTelecom blog post

Related articles:
NCTA chief Powell on 'unnecessary' net neutrality regs, and Google's unearned popularity
AT&T joins industry groups in suing the FCC over net neutrality rules
Senator Nelson: We can't put a straightjacket on the FCC

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