Press Release

Public Knowledge Files Opposition to Petition for Stay on Net Neutrality

May 5, 2015 ,

Today, Public Knowledge and other consumer advocacy groups filed an Opposition to the Petition for Stay Pending Judicial Review of Daniel Berninger, Founder of the Voice Communication Exchange Committee. Mr. Berninger’s Petition for Stay filed at the Federal Communications Commission requests the agency grant a stay of its landmark net neutrality order, which reclassifies broadband Internet access service under Title II of the Communications Act.

A stay would prevent the FCC’s Open Internet Order from taking effect, denying customers the guarantee of an Open Internet while causing uncertainty for companies and consumers alike. In evaluating a Petition for Stay, the Commission considers: (1) whether Petitioner is likely to succeed on the merits; (2) whether Petitioner will be irreparably injured in the absence of a stay; (3) whether a stay will harm other parties; and (4) whether the public interest supports a stay.

Public Knowledge finds that Mr. Berninger has failed to show that any of these factors favor the grant of a stay, and so encourage the Commission to deny the Petitioner’s request.

The following can be attributed to Harold Feld, Senior Vice President of Public Knowledge:

“Mr. Berninger argues that protecting consumer access to the Open Internet should wait while telephone and cable companies fight these protections in the courts. Mr. Berninger thinks it would be better for himself and his business if broadband companies could prioritize his services over those of rivals, and claims to suffer irreparable harm from his inability to negotiate such business arrangements.

“But as FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said on the day the FCC approved the net neutrality Order, ‘The Internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones to make the rules.’ It might benefit Mr. Berninger and a few privileged others for telephone and cable companies to pick winners and losers on the Internet. But a universe that allows AT&T or Comcast to pick Berninger as the winner is a world where all the rest of us lose.”

You may view our Opposition to Mr. Berninger’s Petition for Stay here.