In yet another clear sign that the FCC’s net neutrality rules are in consumers’ best interests, the big telecom monopolies have been caught using technical loopholes to get around the effective policing mechanisms the FCC laid out in its landmark decision.
The teclos want to stop the FCC from both reclassifying the internet as a utility and implementing a standard that prevents providers from “unreasonably interfering” with your internet access
AT&T, CenturyLink and multiple industry groups have sent filings to the FCC asking it to block specific procedures and not the rules themselves. The fabulously wealthy companies say the regulations would require “crushing” costs and might chill investments in network upgrades, arguments they’ve used in the past when faced with any sort of regulation.
While the FCC is likely to discard these requests, they will likely lead to a call to freeze the net neutrality rules (which start June 12th) until legal battles are over.
The filings give a peek at the strategy the telcos will use when they’re at court. The carriers have launched broad legal attacks on net neutrality, claiming that it violates numerous laws and even the Constitution.
Now they’re trying to undermine the rules based on the supposed burdens involved with the implementation, not the core principles that earned so much public support. They’re basically trying every trick in the book to kill net neutrality, even if that includes some very specific tactics.
Whether or not the legal armada will work against the FCC may be a matter of which court they end up in. The FCC wants them to go to a federal appeals court in Washington, DC that maintained the agency’s power to regulate internet access even after rejecting earlier rules. The FCC no doubt wants a judiciary that enshrines its authority at the very moment that companies are trying to undermine it — a different court might not be so sympathetic.
The big telcos understand this and have launched at least 7 lawsuits around the country to try and get more favorable venues.
It wouldn’t be surprising if at least one case, after many years, ends up at the U.S. Supreme Court.
The telcos don’t want to stop price gouging you and will do anything and everything to keep the practice, and associated profits, going.