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FCC hit with SEVENTH net neutrality lawsuit

CenturyLink joins queue suing US busybody to kill new rules

CenturyLink has become the seventh organization to sue the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to dismantle its radical new net neutrality rules.

The broadband provider filed a lawsuit against the US regulator in the Washington DC Court of Appeals, and used almost exactly the same language as the first lawsuit to land last week from industry group USTelecom.

The new rules governing Americans' internet access are "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and a violation of federal law," according to CenturyLink.

In filing, it now joins a long list of lawsuits including those filed by Alamo Broadband, AT&T, ACA, CTIA, NCTA and USTelecom – the last four being industry groups.

The lawsuits all appear to share the share basic arguments, although those from AT&T and the CTIA also challenge the FCC’s decision to include wireless internet under the new regulation.

Why CenturyLink decided to file on its own rather than through a trade group is not clear, but it told The Register: "CenturyLink invests hundreds of millions of dollars a year to build, maintain and update an open Internet network and does not block or degrade lawful content.

"However, the FCC has chosen to subjugate the Internet to government-controlled public utility regulations from the 1930s. These regulations not only have no place in the 21st century economy, but will chill innovation and investment. We are challenging the FCC's misguided net neutrality order for these reasons and because we believe it could lead to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers."

The FCC stated at the time it passed the rules last month that it was confident they could withstand a legal challenge.

In the meantime, Republicans in Congress continue to threaten legislation that would override the rules. The proposed "resolution of disapproval" is going nowhere, however, since it would require President Obama to sign it – and he was a vocal proponent for the new rules. His refusal to approve the resolution would require a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress to override, which Democrats will never allow. ®

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