USTelecom: Net neutrality should be a federal, not a specific state measure

Net Neutrality
USTelecom says any net neutrality rules should be carried out on a federal level. (iStock/mindscanner)

USTelecom, an industry group focused on providing advocacy for the large Tier 1 and rural Tier 2 and Tier 3 telcos, maintains that any net neutrality rules should be based on a federalwide concept and not state by state.  

Jonathan Spalter, CEO of USTelecom, said in a blog post that its organization will continue to challenge any state or municipal efforts that are inconsistent with the Restoring Internet Freedom Order.

Jonathan Spalter

“If we truly believe—as I do—that all Americans deserve an open internet, then we should fight together at the federal level for permanent, evenhanded protections that apply across the entire internet,” Spalter said. “Protections should be no different for consumers in Minnesota or Iowa than they are in California or Florida.”

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Spalter added that “consumers deserve consistent safeguards across the online world, whether engaging with Facebook, Goggle, AT&T or Comcast.”

Spalter’s comments come as states like Washington move to pass their own net neutrality bill.

In late February, Washington passed its own net neutrality law, the first state to do so in protest of the FCC’s move to repeal the 2015 net neutrality order.

Washington is hardly alone in its desires to launch its own net neutrality rules. Lawmakers in over 25 states have introduced their own net neutrality legislation but Washington is the first to pass its bill in both chambers of the state legislature.

At the same time, a California court is about to hear arguments to reinstate the 2015 net neutrality rules put in place by former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. San Francisco’s 9th Circuit court was recently selected by lottery to hear the case challenging the FCC's ruling last December to reclassify ISPs as information service providers under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act.

USTelecom recently joined other pro-incumbent organizations like three trade groups that collectively represent the U.S.-based Tier 1 Internet and wireless providers filed motions to intervene in the case on behalf of the FCC. The motions for leave to intervene were filed by NCTA (The Internet & Television Association), CTIA (The Wireless Association) and USTelecom (The Broadband Association).