Net neutrality clock starts counting down

by Steve Blum • , , ,

Three, two ,one.

The twelfth of June is the day that new net neutrality rules will become effective. Those rules were approved by the Federal Communications Commission in February and released in March, and were officially published in the Federal Register yesterday, with the 12 June 2015 date specified.

There’s a big if involved, though. That’s only if a federal court doesn’t put everything on hold while considering the legal challenges that have already been filed and those that are expected to come.

The US Telecom Association immediately updated its lawsuit, in what looks like an attempt to keep the case in the Washington, DC appeals court. Both US Telecom and Alamo Broadband, a Texas wireless ISP, filed challenges in two different courts. The DC circuit was then randomly chosen as the primary appeals court in the matter, which should make other big, Beltway-based lobbying groups happy. The National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and the Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CTIA) are expected to jump in with their own challenges.

The FCC’s other recent broadband decision – the one preempting state restrictions on municipal broadband systems – is also in court. The state of Tennessee filed its appeal with the federal appeals court in Cincinnati last month, and it looks like that’s where the case will stay. No one filed a separate challenge in another jurisdiction within the initial ten day limit. The way the federal appeals court rules work that means the Cincinnati circuit has the ball if other states or organisations file their own challenges later.