DC Circuit Court of Appeals to Hear Net Neutrality Oral Arguments Today

Today, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments this morning in the lawsuit launched over the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Open Internet rules. This past September, the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) filed an amicus brief in support of the FCC on behalf of several other civil rights, racial justice, and public interest groups petitioning the court to affirm the rules.

The FCC’s Open Internet rules took effect in June, classifying Internet access service as a common carrier service, allowing the FCC to prevent Internet fast lanes for the rich and slow lanes for the rest, among other things.

“The FCC followed precisely the roadmap that the court laid out last year which would allow it to prevent harmful discriminatory practices online. That should be apparent to the court,” said Michael Scurato, NHMC’s Vice President of Policy. “This is certainly an important day in the fight for a free and open Internet: the work of NHMC and our allies, as well as the leadership of the FCC, many Members of Congress, and President Obama, has helped us get to where we are today-with rules on the books that preserve what makes the Internet such an empowering tool for our community. We believe strongly that these rules should stand.”

NHMC’s amicus brief was signed by NHMC, 18MillionRising.org, Presente.org, the Center for Media Justice, Common Cause, and the Media Action Grassroots Network, filing as a coalition called the Open Internet Civil Rights Coalition (OICRC). The brief was prepared by noted attorney, Andrew Jay Schwartzman, of Washington, D.C., who represented the amici. The OICRC’s amicus brief is available here.

Within the brief, OICRC details the importance of an Open Internet – particularly with regard to mobile broadband-for communities of color. OICRC notes that FCC’s open Internet rules foster economic growth, as well as artistic, social, and political expression, amongst traditionally underserved communities.

To learn more about NHMC’s Open Internet advocacy, visit www.nhmc.org/openinternet. For a recent two-page fact sheet on why Open Internet rules and reclassification are critical to communities of color, please visitwww.nhmc.org/6-need-know-facts-net-neutrality-communities-color/.

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