Attorney General Jim Hood joined 22 attorneys general in filing a petition Thursday to formally begin their lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission’s illegal rollback of net neutrality. The coalition filed a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit after the FCC published the final rule rolling back net neutrality in today’s Federal Register.
“The repeal of net neutrality would have dire consequences for consumers and businesses in Mississippi and across the country who rely on and have a right to a free and open internet,” said General Hood. “A repeal would allow internet service providers to control and slow down consumers’ lawful internet activity, which is unfair and un-American.”
AG Hood said that the Attorneys General will argue in their suit that under the Administrative Procedure Act the FCC cannot make “arbitrary and capricious” changes to existing policies, such as net neutrality. The FCC’s rule fails to justify the Commission’s departure from its long-standing policy and practice of defending net neutrality while misinterpreting and disregarding critical record evidence on industry practices and harm to consumers and businesses.
He added that the rule wrongly reclassifies broadband internet as a Title I information service, rather than a Title II telecommunications service, based on an erroneous and unreasonable interpretation of the Telecommunications Act. Finally, the rule improperly and unlawfully includes sweeping preemption of state and local laws.
The lawsuit is led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and joined by the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.