Free Press Jumps in to Defend the Net Neutrality Rules in Court
As John Oliver might say, Free Press exists to stop “cable company f*ckery.”
It’s been a banner year for doing that and protecting the open Internet. We’ve stopped Comcast’s attempt to take over Time Warner Cable — crushing a mega-merger that would have made Comcast the only truly high-speed broadband provider available to about 4 out of every 10 U.S. homes. And we put Net Neutrality back on solid legal ground when the FCC voted in February to reclassify broadband as a Title II service — and put in place strong rules to prevent blocking, throttling and paid prioritization.
But even then we knew the fight wasn’t over. Before we’d finished toasting the victory, we were plotting the next steps. How will we defend this win in Congress? In the courts?
Since the February ruling, 10 big phone and cable companies or various lobbyists for these companies have filed lawsuits that for the most part are designed to gut the Net Neutrality rules. And this week the ISPs also filed what’s called a joint motion for a stay of the FCC’s reclassification decision, a move that would delay implementation of the rules and undercut their effectiveness.
We’ve been keeping a close eye on all of these proceedings. And this week, Free Press took the next major step to protect this win by filing to intervene in the industry-backed court case and defend the FCC decision against those challenging the agency’s rules.
We filed in court because we want to be sure that you are represented in this debate. The fight for Net Neutrality united millions of people, businesses and organizations behind a simple idea: Internet service providers should not be allowed to interfere with what we say or do online. With the fight moving to the courts, we need to keep the public’s voice front and center.
“Free Press will fight the spurious and unsubstantiated claims of the phone and cable companies and uphold the FCC’s decision to root open Internet protections in established law,” said my colleague Matt Wood, the Free Press policy director. “This fight includes opposing the industry attempt to get the court to delay the implementation of these fundamental safeguards for Internet users."
Free Press will be there every step of the way. And as the legal battle rages on, we welcome your support for our efforts in court, too.