Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


This paper traces the history of net neutrality and the judicial reviews of the Federal Communication Commission’s multiple attempts at regulation, including the agency’s 2006 guidelines overturned in Comcast v. FCC, the 2010 rules overturned in Verizon v. FCC, and the FCC’s reclassification of broadband in its 2015 net neutrality rules, as well as the contemporary battles over the agency’s decision in November of 2017 to repeal the 2015 rules. As the FCC continues to wrestle with net neutrality and open internet regulations, the agency engaged in a series of continuing delays to impede a potential U.S. Supreme Court review of net neutrality in U.S. Telecom v. FCC. The result of the FCC’s choice to delay a review, especially after certiorari was denied, is that it must now defend multiple and contradictory visions of regulatory intent at the same time. We argue that the agency’s decision to delay a potential Supreme Court review further complicated a policy resolution to the issue of net neutrality, and in the process ensured that the agency will be engaged in legal battles over internet regulation for some time.