Pai Says That FCC Has Fulfilled Conditions of Court’s Net Neutrality Order
Thursday, October 08, 2020 | Comments

In previewing the agenda for the FCC’s October meeting, Chairman Ajit Pai said he believes the commission has adequately addressed three issues, including the impact on public safety, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Court asked it to consider regarding its 2017 net neutrality decision.

In 2017, the FCC’s Republican majority removed net neutrality regulations that the previous commission, which had a Democratic majority, put in place in the Restoring Internet Freedom Order.

That decision was eventually challenged in court and in 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the majority of the FCC’s decision in the order. In that court order, the court asked the FCC to consider three issues: the order’s effect on public safety, the effect of the order on the commission’s ability to regulate pole attachments and its effect on the Lifeline program’s ability to support broadband.

In a blog highlighting the October meeting, Pai noted that the commission put out a public notice seeking specific input on those issues.

“Having reviewed the input received, the law and the facts, I am confident that the regulatory framework we set forth in the Restoring Internet Freedom Order appropriately and adequately addresses each issue,” Pai wrote.

Pai said that he has circulated among the commission an order for consideration at the meeting that addresses the points raised by the court.

“It affirms that the FCC stands by the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, consistent with the practical reality consumers have experienced since December 2017 of an internet economy that is better, stronger and freer than ever,” Pai wrote.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who voted against the order in 2017, criticized the move in a statement.

“This is crazy,” Rosenworcel said. “The internet should be open and available for all. That’s why net neutrality is about. It’s why people from across this country rose up to voice their frustration and anger with the Federal Communications commission when it decided to ignore their wishes and roll back net neutrality. Now, the courts have asked us for a do-over. But, instead of taking this opportunity to right what this agency got wrong, we are going to double down on our mistake.”

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