Public Knowledge Defends Net Neutrality Rules in D.C. Circuit

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Today, Public Knowledge, as part of a broad coalition of intervenors, presented oral arguments defending the Federal Communications Commission’s February 2015 Open Internet Order before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Public Knowledge filed as an intervenor along with other public interest groups and Internet companies opposing the U.S. Telecom Association’s challenge to the FCC’s net neutrality rules reclassifying broadband Internet as a telecommunications service. Kevin Russell delivered the arguments on behalf of Public Knowledge, Free Press and Open Technology Institute.

The following can be attributed to Kate Forscey, Government Affairs Associate Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“Public Knowledge continues to believe that the Commission’s 2015 Open Internet rule -- a long-awaited policy win for consumers and innovators -- is rooted in a well-settled legal foundation. In light of today’s oral arguments, we remain confident that the court will come to that same conclusion.

"As you would expect, the judges asked some probing questions on several discrete topics, such as interconnection, paid prioritization, and mobile. However, the carriers who are challenging the FCC's rules ultimately have a weak case for the issues at large. The attorneys representing the FCC, intervenors, and the public interest did an excellent job explaining why the carriers' challenge must fail and why the FCC's action was lawful.

“Ultimately, what is at stake here is whether cable and broadband providers like Comcast are allowed to manipulate their customers’ access to lawful content of their choice, fundamentally distorting the Internet as we know it. It is our belief that the court will uphold the Commission’s rules, which will preserve an Open Internet free of gatekeepers. An Open Internet is essential to give consumers access to jobs, a global economy, education, healthcare and critical 21st century emergency communications in the digital age. We’re dedicated to fighting for it.”

You may view our intervenors’ brief for more details on why Public Knowledge strongly supports the 2015 Open Internet Order. You can view our list of litigation documents for more filings in this process. For more information on why we went to court today, please view our recent blog post, “Net Neutrality in Court This Week: The Story of How We Got Here,” by Senior Vice President Harold Feld. You may also listen to the oral argument recordings.

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