While the movement for net neutrality gains pace in India, America’s net neutrality struggle tightens due to the opposition lawsuits from the carriers. AT&T Inc, the American multinational telecommunications corporation is the latest to oppose the US Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) new rules for net neutrality. AT&T’s opposition stands out from the rest of the lawsuits because the company stayed out of the two previous lawsuits against net neutrality.
Moreover, while most other companies allow their industry groups to come forward for legal challenges, AT&T came up to stand for it. Another striking factor is that FCC was also reviewing AT&T’s proposed $49 billion acquisition deal to buy DirecTV, which would make it a major player in pay television and increase its power with media companies at a time when video consumption is moving online.
Earlier, wireless carriers the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, United States Telecom Association and the CTIA, and the American Cable Association filed the law suit against net neutrality. All these cases will be consolidated into a single case.
The lawsuits by these players say that the new rules are ‘arbitrary’ and ‘capricious’. The classification of wired and wireless broadband as a telecommunication service, instead of an information service has infuriated the carriers. This classification will subject the providers to regulation under Title II of the Communications Act.
The new rules maintain a fast and open internet. Accordingly, no blocking, no throttling and no paid prioritization of internet content can happen.