An association of telecommunications companies challenged a 2015 FCC order that designated Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as “common carriers.” The effect of this designation is that the ISPs are required to carry all traffic without discrimination – a policy known as “net neutrality.” In September 2015, we filed an amicus brief, together with the National ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, supporting the government and arguing that net neutrality does not infringe any ISP’s First Amendment rights.
The D.C. Circuit issued its decision in June 2016, upholding the FCC order by a 2-1 vote, and agreeing with us on the First Amendment issue in seven of the opinion’s 115 pages.
In July, several parties filed petitions for rehearing or rehearing en banc and almost a year later on May 1, 2017, the court denied those petitions. In the order denying the petitions, the panel of judges paid a lot more attention to the First Amendment issue we raised. For a full report on the panel's opinion, please see the Washington Post's article here.