Press Release Net Neutrality

Public Knowledge Files Petition for Rehearing of Net Neutrality Case Before D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

December 13, 2019 , , , ,

Today, Public Knowledge joined with other stakeholders in filing a petition for rehearing with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for Mozilla v. FCC. In the Court’s recent opinion, it upheld in part the Federal Communications Commission’s December 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom Order. Public Knowledge filed as a petitioner opposing the FCC’s abandonment of its own net neutrality rules. While the FCC’s classification decision was narrowly upheld, the court also ruled that the FCC cannot prevent states from enacting their own net neutrality laws or other broadband regulations.

The net neutrality rules created by the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order prevented broadband providers from blocking websites, throttling web traffic, or creating “fast lanes” only for those able to pay for prioritization. Millions of Americans expressed support for these rules by submitting comments with the FCC, and more than 80 percent of Americans consistently say they support restoring the protections the FCC adopted in the 2015 Open Internet Order.

The following can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Legal Director at Public Knowledge:

“Although the court came to the right conclusion on some key issues, such as the FCC’s lack of authority to preempt state net neutrality rules, in other ways it gave the FCC the benefit of the doubt too many times. While agencies should be given deference where appropriate, they do not have the authority to rewrite the law or come to illogical, results-driven conclusions. Supreme Court precedent did not require the court to allow an FCC decision to stand that the per curiam opinion itself, as well as the concurrences, so obviously see as flawed.”

You may view the petition for rehearing to learn more about why we’re making this request. You may also view our original intervenors’ brief for more details on why Public Knowledge strongly opposed the FCC’s net neutrality repeal. For more information on why we went to court, please view our recent blog post, “Two Years Later, Broadband Providers Are Still Taking Advantage of An Internet Without Net Neutrality Protections.”