In its coalition brief, the U.S. Chamber asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to vacate an order of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) that reclassifies broadband Internet as a “telecommunications service” subject to utility-style regulation under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. This order subjects broadband to a vague and evolving “Internet conduct standard” administered by the FCC and third parties through enforcement actions. The coalition amicus brief argued that Title II—which is Depression-era legislation cribbed from a 19th century railroad statute to regulate the nascent telephone industry—is a poor fit for regulating the most technologically advanced and dynamic information system in history.
According to the brief, new broadband regulation is unnecessary, given the highly competitive nature of the broadband market. The brief also warned that new regulation will stifle investment critical for developing the next generation of broadband technology, which benefits technological and economic growth in other sectors.
The brief was filed jointly with the National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Roundtable.
John P. Elwood of Vinson & Elkins LLP served as counsel for the amici with the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center.