ISPs have stopped fighting California’s net neutrality law, after hitting three court losses

The broadband industry has dropped its lawsuit against the California Net Neutrality Act after a series of court rulings against Internet service providers.

The four broadband lobbying groups that sued California “hereby require that this action be dismissed without prejudice,” they wrote in Wednesday deposit In the US District Court for the Eastern District of California. The ISP groups are ACA Connects (formerly American Cable Association), CTIA-The Wireless Association, NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, and USTelecom.

“After losing three times in federal court, ISPs finally realized that they couldn’t overturn California’s net neutrality law and that they should stop trying,” said Barbara Van Squeak, a Stanford law professor. booksdescribing the development as a “historic victory for Californians and the open Internet.”

“Thanks to the hard work of the California attorney general and the broad coalition that helped defend the law in court, ISPs gave up rather than fight this matter in the Supreme Court,” she wrote.

He denied the primary order three times

The ISPs had been seeking a preliminary injunction to block the law before bringing the case to trial but repeatedly failed. First, US District Judge John Mendes refusal to grant Preliminary injunction required in February 2021, allowing California to enforce its own net neutrality rules.

The ISPs subsequently appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, but in January 2022, a three-judge panel unanimously decided supported Lower court ruling. Finally, ISPs asked On Bank Hearing with all court judges. Zero judges on the 29-seat Court of Appeals believed the broadband industry’s petition for a rehearing was worthy of a vote.

The full court has been informed of the petition for a rehearing On BankNo judge asked for a vote to reconsider the matter On Bank. Petition for rehearing On Bank Deny,” he said An order against ISPs On April 20.

The ISPs could have proceeded with the trial in US District Court, as the refusal of a preliminary injunction did not preclude continued litigation. But it is clear that dismissals from appeals court judges combined with Mendez’s criticism of ISPs’ legal arguments have convinced lobbyists not to move forward.

“Internet service providers (ISPs) threw the towel today in their challenge to California’s net neutrality law,” Andrew Jay Schwartzman, senior advisor at the Benton Institute for Broadband and Society, said in a statement after his dismissal yesterday. “They were forced to accept what most observers saw: In the wake of the FCC’s decision to drop interest in treating broadband access service as subject to federal regulation, states were released to adopt their own requirements.”

After the dismissal, industry groups released a statement saying that “broadband providers are united in support of an open Internet” and “committed to working with Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to develop a federal approach to solving problems.” According to Reuters. But despite claiming to support the principles of net neutrality, broadband pressure groups have always been Net neutrality rule viewer At the federal and state level.

Judge: The law does not support the arguments of the ISPs

at oral judgment Against the initial injunction, Mendez said, “I do not find that the plaintiffs have demonstrated prospect of success on the merits at this point in the litigation.”

Mendez said ISPs “have asserted that the Communications Act gives the FCC the exclusive authority to regulate interstate communications, leaving states only able to regulate intrastate communications.” “But the Court is of the view that the provisions of law upon which the plaintiffs rely do not support the arguments raised.”

California net neutrality law They are similar to the federal rules that were enacted by the FCC during the Obama administration and then repealed under Trump. The state of California prohibits fixed and mobile ISPs from blocking or restricting legal traffic and says ISPs may not charge websites or online services to deliver or prioritize their traffic to consumers. California law also prohibits exemptions for paid data caps (the so-called “zero rating”) and says that ISPs may not attempt to evade net neutrality protections by slowing down traffic at network nodes.

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