New York – The Federal Communications Commission on Monday declined to intervene in a U.N. panel’s ruling that the Federal Communications Act must be rewritten to ensure the nation’s broadband infrastructure remains competitive.
The FCC voted 3-2 along party lines to deny the appeal of Comcast Corp.’s bid to overturn the agency’s net neutrality rules.
Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, Time Warner Cable Inc., Charter Communications Inc. and Bright House Networks Inc., argued that the FCC did not have the authority to rewrite the act because the commission did not enact the law.
The FCC’s three Republican commissioners voted to reject Comcast’s request for a stay.
It was the first time the commission has rejected a Comcast appeal since a federal judge in March struck down a plan to preemptively preempt the FCC from regulating broadband companies that were already operating under the net neutrality regulations.
Comcast argued the FCC overstepped its authority by attempting to preempt the existing net neutrality laws, a legal fight that had been at the center of the election.
The FCC is required to set rules to prevent broadband providers from blocking, slowing or degrading online content.
In a statement, Comcast said the FCC acted “unconstitutionally” by overstepping its authority.
“The FCC acted to preempt state law, by failing to pass a bill of attainder, by acting without authority, and by preempting state law,” the company said.
Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, who is in her first term, voted with the majority.
The two Democratic commissioners, Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignor Hinojosa, voted against Comcast’s motion to stay the decision.
Chairman Ajit Pai, who has argued for more regulation of the Internet, voted for the stay.