Cable TV’s Largest Lobby Group Vows to Fight Net Neutrality With Years of Litigation





Woman on laptop looking disappointed

The Federal Communications Commission announced today that it will be voted to begin the process of bringing back the net neutrality rules that were removed in 2017. Now there will be an official vote to impose net neutrality ruleson April 25th, 2024.

“After the prior administration abdicated authority over broadband services, the FCC has been handcuffed from acting to fully secure broadband networks, protect consumer data, and ensure the internet remains fast, open, and fair,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement on Wednesday. “A return to the FCC’s overwhelmingly popular and court-approved standard of net neutrality will allow the agency to serve once again as a strong consumer advocate of an open internet.”

Now, though, the Internet and Television Association NCTA, which represents cable TV companies, has vowed to fight this with litigation. In a statement about the upcoming vote, they said: “In the absence of any harm, the FCC is barreling ahead with a backward-looking, unnecessary proposal. Its repeated legal flip-flopping has become a tiresome political ritual unmoored from congressional direction that radically upends what should be a stable regulatory environment. But this time, reimposing heavy-handed regulation will not just hobble network investment and innovation, it will also seriously jeopardize our nation’s collective efforts to build and sustain reliable broadband in rural and unserved communities. We urge the FCC to reverse course to avoid years of litigation and uncertainty.”

This lobby group includes some of the biggest cable TV companies, including Comcast, Spectrum, Cox Communications, GCI, Mediacom, Midco, and others. Its board of directors includes executives from AMC, A+E Networks, Warner Bros. Discovery, The Walt Disney Company, Fox News, and others.

The rules, first introduced in 2015, designated the internet service providers as Title II companies, which are more akin to gas and electric companies, with heavier oversight. They made it through a legal challenge in court before the following administration ordered their dismantling (read the full history of net neutrality here).

The new take on the rules would be similar to the 2015 version, and will likely be challenged in court again.

“The FCC’s proposal to reinstate Title II regulation of broadband is not only misguided – it is a missed opportunity,” said Grant Spellmeyer, CEO of ACA Connects, a trade group made up of smaller cable and internet providers. “We should be working together to improve broadband access and adoption for all Americans, not relitigating the regulatory battles of the past.” 

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