Thursday, October 4, 2018

ISP lobbies sue to stop CA net neutrality law

Entire broadband industry sues California to stop net neutrality law | Ars Technica - Jon Brodkin:

October 3, 2018 - "Four lobby groups representing the broadband industry today sued California to stop the state's new net neutrality law.

"The lawsuit was filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of California by mobile industry lobby CTIA, cable industry lobby NCTA, telco lobby USTelecom, and the American Cable Association, which represents small and mid-size cable companies. Together, these four lobby groups represent all the biggest mobile and home Internet providers in the US and hundreds of smaller ISPs. Comcast, Charter, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile US, Sprint, Cox, Frontier, and CenturyLink are among the groups' members.

"'This case presents a classic example of unconstitutional state regulation,' the complaint said. The California net neutrality law 'was purposefully intended to countermand and undermine federal law by imposing on [broadband] the very same regulations that the Federal Communications Commission [FCC] expressly repealed in its 2018 Restoring Internet Freedom Order.'

"ISPs say the California law impermissibly regulates interstate commerce. '[I]t is impossible or impracticable for an Internet service provider offering [broadband] to distinguish traffic that moves only within California from traffic that crosses state borders,' the lobby groups' complaint said.... The groups asked the court to declare that the state law 'is preempted and unconstitutional, and should permanently enjoin [California] from enforcing or giving effect to it.'

"California now faces two major lawsuits challenging the net neutrality law signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Sunday. The Trump administration's Department of Justice also sued California and is seeking a preliminary injunction that would stop the law from being implemented. California's net neutrality rules are scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2019.

"Ultimately, the question of whether the FCC's preemption of state laws is valid will be decided in a different lawsuit pending at the US Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit. In that suit, state attorneys general and other litigants sued the FCC in order to reverse the repeal of federal net neutrality rules and the preemption of state laws.

"But the US District Court in California ... will decide whether California can enforce its law while the US Court of Appeals case is pending."

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