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ACA Disappointed With D.C. Circuit Ruling Upholding FCCs Unjustified Regulation Of ISPs As Common Carriers

PITTSBURGH, June 14, 2016 -  American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement in response to today's decision by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upholding the Federal Communications Commission's action to reclassify Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act:

"ACA is disappointed that the D.C. Circuit supported the FCC's decision to regulate the complex, computer-like networks of ISPs as though they are ‘dumb' pipes provided by monopoly telephone companies. ACA continues to believe that the FCC acted contrary to law and decades of precedent in relying on Title II of the Communications Act as the legal basis for its new regulations, whose burdens fall disproportionately upon smaller ISPs.  Although ACA needs time to review the Court's ruling to assess the need for further litigation, ACA expects to seek review of the decision.

"ACA members - which are among the smallest actors in the market -- do not now have and never had the incentive or ability to engage in blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization that could possibly threaten the openness of the Internet.  Nonetheless, ACA members were and are willing to be subject to the three ‘bright line' net neutrality rules contained in the order under the FCC's Section 706 authority.  However, ACA members have been strongly opposed to being subject to onerous Title II rules to achieve this goal, which would impose unnecessary and significant costs.

"ACA believes that for the FCC to exercise regulatory authority over the Internet, it requires a clear statutory mandate from Congress that is lacking in this case."

About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing nearly 750 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for nearly 7 million cable subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America.  Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA's members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business.  For more information, visit http://www.americancable.org/

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