Last year, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, widely considered the second-highest court in the country below the Supreme Court, upheld virtually all of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Restoring Internet Freedom Order. This order, issued in 2017, rolled back the 2015 FCC’s attempt to impose a form of so-called “net neutrality” through public utility-style regulation of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). CEI supported this move to remove heavy-handed, utility-style regulation and restore ISPs to the light-touch regulatory framework in place for the preceding two decades—in which the Internet grew and flourished into what we know today.
While the D.C. Circuit Court upheld the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order, a few narrow issues were remanded to FCC for further consideration. One of these issues is the impact the order has on public safety.
Our comments make two distinct points. First, it is somewhat strange for the FCC to have to consider the public safety impacts of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, considering that the order it rolled back was explicitly neutral on its own public safety impact. Second, our comments suggest that improvements in U.S. network investment and performance since the implementation of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order mean the Order carries, by definition, significant public safety improvements.
To read our full comments see here.