Charter Already Using Net Neutrality Repeal In Legal Matters

Advertisement
Advertisement

Charter Communications is currently engrossed in a legal battle with the state of New York over allegations that it did not deliver on promised internet speeds, and the company is now citing a clause in the FCC's proposed repeal of the net neutrality rules as a possible defense in the case. Specifically, Charter is citing the provision of the repeal that keeps states from regulating internet service providers and telecom entities on their own, outside of the FCC's purview, in order to continue the enforcement of Title II regulations. The draft order did not specify anything regarding the transparency rule that the current case is based on, but the implication here is that the state of New York has no authority to regulate Charter Communications. Charter planned to discuss the draft order at a hearing for a motion to dismiss the case earlier this week.

Charter's letter garnered a response from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. His letter pointed out four fronts upon which Charter's letter and its implication were erroneous or irrelevant to the proceedings at hand. The first among those is that the draft rule indeed does not include any provisions regarding the transparency law that the current case is built upon. Schneiderman went on to explain that the draft order in its current form stresses that state-level remediation remains available for applicable cases, the draft rule seeks to do away with a provision of broadband rules that act as a safe harbor against certain types of remediation, and that the draft rule, later on in a passage that Charter actually cited, says that states retain the right to enforce state laws against telecom entities and internet service providers.

This is just one example of the wide range of legal battles that will doubtlessly be affected by the FCC's proposed ruling on net neutrality. Naturally, more battles of this nature are bound to break out once the rule actually takes effect, if it is indeed voted for approval. Once the FCC puts through its vote, however, the repeal of net neutrality laws is not entirely on the books; many entities are already stating their intentions to take the matter to federal appeals courts, meaning that the end of the battle for net neutrality is certainly not the FCC's December 14 voting date.

Advertisement