CTIA filed a lawsuit with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today challenging the FCC’s decision to impose sweeping new net neutrality rules and reclassifying mobile broadband as a common carrier utility.
CTIA Chairman of the Board and CEO of Bluegrass Cellular Ron Smith said:
“With today’s filing, CTIA seeks to protect the competitive mobile marketplace that thrived under a deregulatory framework for decades. The FCC’s new Internet rules are full service regulations that will harm mobile consumers and providers across the country, as well as our nation’s wireless future.”
“Instead of letting consumers decide the success of new, innovative mobile services, government bureaucrats will now play that role. National, regional and rural wireless carriers will spend substantial time and resources trying to comply with the new vague and overbroad rules. CTIA’s member companies should be focused on meeting consumers’ growing demand for mobile data and creating new offerings.”
To set the lawsuit in context, I said:
“CTIA and the wireless industry have always supported an open Internet, which is why these rules will only chill investment and innovation and increase costs for consumers. The FCC ignored that the competitive, constantly innovating mobile broadband industry provides Americans with faster networks and a wide variety of devices and service plans. Instead of promoting greater industry investment in the connected world of tomorrow, the FCC opted to resuscitate a command-and-control regulatory regime, including a process where innovators must first seek permission from the FCC before rolling out new services. In so doing, the FCC usurped the role of Congress and departed from a bipartisan mobile-specific framework to create a new intrusive regulatory framework. CTIA had no choice but to seek judicial review to preserve the regulatory approach that has been instrumental in helping the U.S. become the global leader in 4G services. We are confident that the courts will reject the FCC’s overreach for the third time, particularly with respect to mobile broadband services.”
I also expressed the continued desire of the wireless industry for a bipartisan Congressional solution:
“We look forward to working with Congress to preserve an open Internet, end the substantial uncertainty around the FCC’s order and ensure America’s wireless industry remains the world’s leader.”