Today, ISPs sued New York to block a state law requiring ISPs to sell $ 15 per month broadband plans to low-income households.
The lawsuit was filed by lobby groups including USTelecom and CTIA – The Wireless Association, which both count Verizon and AT&T among their membership groups. Several other ISP lobby groups have also participated in the lawsuit, with plaintiffs including the NTCA ̵1; The Rural Broadband Association, the Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association and the New York State Telecommunications Association NCTA, the largest cable lobby group, failed. Participate in this case But the cable lobby group representing a minority carrier, the American Communications Association, was among the plaintiffs suing New York.
New York legalized cheap broadband two weeks ago and called it a “The first domestic requirement for affordable internet for qualified low income families”
With this New York law “Try to control broadband rates,” the ISP complaint said. “New York State’s recently enacted FY2022 budget requirement requires operators of wired, wireless, and satellite broadband services within a day. On June 15, 2021, it will begin offering qualifying low-income broadband services. To consumers for $ 15 per month or high-speed broadband at a consumer cost of $ 20 per month. “ISPs claim that state requirements are exempt by federal law.
The lawsuit was filed with the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The broadband lobby group has requested a preliminary and permanent injunction to prevent law enforcement.
“I know the telecommunication giants will not be happy with our efforts to level the playing field and when it’s the turn they are pushing back,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today. “Let’s make it clear that providing Internet access in Empire State is not a God-given right if these companies want to choose. This fight disrupts the ability of millions of New Yorkers to access this essential service and prevent them. Join in Our economic recovery, I say, bring it. “
State law requires a $ 15 broadband plan with a download speed of at least 25Mbps, where $ 15 is “inclusive of recurring taxes and fees, such as recurring rentals for carrier equipment needed to receive broadband service.” And usage fees “
Internet service providers can follow through by offering a $ 20 per month service with speeds of 200Mbps, and price increases are capped at two percent per year. States are required to review download speed requirements within two years and at least every five years thereafter to determine whether they should be upgraded. The minimum upload speed is not legally specified.
Pai regulations as quoted by ISPs.
The ISP claims the New York law contradicts a decision by the Federal Communications Commission, which was under then-chairman Ajit Pai, to repeal the broadband industry regulation. (And eliminating net neutrality rules in the process), the FCC’s repeal of control directive declared that “broadband is an interstate information service that should not be subject to general carrier regulations,” the lawsuit said. That is the same as the Communications Act, forcing service providers to offer broadband on a common carrier basis at the rates and requirements set by the state to all eligible members of the public.
ISPs also claim that low-income broadband laws More than a century ago, Congress enacted laws that occupied areas of interstate communications services and thus prevent states from directing those services into abuse. Of the longstanding laws, the rate regulation seeks explicitly to determine the rate and speed of interstate communications services. No state can successfully implement such regulations.
The state can regulate broadband through the consumer protection power, and New York will argue that the demand for cheap broadband is not exempt by federal law. The broadband industry similarly claims that California’s net neutrality law is exempt by federal law. But U.S. District Judge John Mendez in February rejected the arguments and refused to give a preliminary directive to the industry blocking California law.
The California case also involved a rate control call, as ISPs argued that ISP’s ban on online services for the California data limit waiver was an improper rate control at the time. Where Mendez found that California law is not ISP rate regulation, there might be a better case in New York where the state wants them to offer a specific plan at a specific price.
On the other hand, the renegotiation of the FCC’s Title II regulators over broadband, led by Pai, has lowered its powers against state law.[I]n any area in which the Commission lacks control But it lacks the power to take advantage of state laws equally. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit wrote in 2019 when it broke Pai’s efforts to deprive all state net neutrality laws.
“AT&T / Verizon has sued for blocking NY’s broadband price control law, and I’m here to remind you that the big ISPs are doing this for themselves,” Ernesto Falcon, senior legal advisor at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, wrote on Twitter. “Lobbying to get rid of the FCC authority has led to opposition. They want to take an unregulated monopoly and think no one will stand against it. [them]. ”