October 1, 2019 - Statement of Institute Fellow Gigi Sohn on the D.C. Circuit's Net Neutrality Decision

Our Distinguished Fellow Gigi Sohn today released the following statement on the D.C. Circuit’s net neutrality decision:

COURT ALLOWS STATES TO CONTINUE TO PROTECT NET NEUTRALITY AND ASSERT AUTHORITY OVER THE BROADBAND MARKET

In a widely anticipated decision, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Mozilla v. FCC, today struck down the portion of the FCC’s 2017 net neutrality repeal order that purported to pre-empt the states from passing laws that protect an open Internet. The court otherwise barely upheld the FCC’s order while remanding it back to the FCC to consider the impact of its decision on 1) public safety; 2) the regulation of pole attachments; and 3) the Lifeline Program.

The following statement is attributable to Gigi Sohn:

“The DC Circuit Court has spoken very clearly -  the states are now free to do what the FCC will not – assert authority over the broadband market and protect an open Internet. Broadband providers will inevitably complain about having to comply with a so-called “patchwork” of different state laws, but that is of their own making. Congress has a golden opportunity to set a federal standard and it’s called the Save the Internet Act, which the House passed in April.  Upon its passage, the popular 2015 net neutrality rules will be reinstated, and just as importantly, so will the FCC’s legal authority to protect consumers and competition in the broadband market. The industry should join the American people and urge the Senate to pass the Act and for the President to sign it without delay.”

Gigi Sohn is a Distinguished Fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and a Benton Foundation Senior Fellow & Public Advocate. She was Senior Counselor to former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler from November 2013-December 2016 and worked on the 2015 Open Internet Order.

You can follow Gigi on Twitter for more updates.