The Internet Association has filed to intervene in the ongoing lawsuit against the FCC challenging the repeal of net neutrality protections.
The Internet Association is a trade association that represents some of the world’s biggest internet companies, including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Dropbox, and Netflix. The IA’s motion focuses primarily on why the IA, and the companies it represents, should be able to participate in the lawsuit.
But let’s take a step back.
In December, the FCC voted 3-2 in favor of gutting Obama Administration-era protections against data throttling and blocking by ISPs. In other words, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a former Verizon employee, and others at the FCC, believed that ISPs should be allowed to charge extra for a fast lane, which would stifle competition.
The order became official in February of this year, opening the door for the fight against the repeal to begin.
Between the vote and the official order, a lawsuit was filed by 22 state attorney generals, seeking to block the net neutrality repeal.
In March, the 9th Circuit consolidated these various challenges (15, in total) to the FCC’s repeal. The IA said earlier this year that it wouldn’t file a lawsuit as a plaintiff, but did plan to participate in the lawsuit.
According to the filing, the IA is focusing on three major areas: the removal of rules against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization distort competition and places the burden on consumers, the removal of well-established, bright line net neutrality rules harms internet companies’ ability to reach customers across the country, and the new rules harm future growth in the internet ecosystem as a whole.
Here’s what Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman had to say in a prepared statement:
The internet industry will continue to fight for net neutrality protections that help consumers, foster innovation, and promote competition for the entire online ecosystem. The entire sector is committed to preserving an open internet and will continue to defend these protections in every venue available. This is also an issue that unites Republicans and Democrats in all 50 states.
On the other side of the coin, some industry groups that support the FCC’s repeal of Net Neutrality have also filed to intervene.