NCTA will probably sue FCC over Title II regulation, Powell says

National Cable & Telecommunications Association president and CEO Michael Powell told C-SPAN Thursday that the cable lobby will probably sue the FCC over its pending Title II-based net neutrality rules.

Michael Powell, NCTA

Powell (Source: NCTA)

"I think it's just too dramatic, too serious a change not to ask the court to review the propriety of what the commission did, particularly when so much of it rests on whether it had the authority to do it in the first place," Powell said.

The NCTA's members haven't formally decided to take the Federal Communications Commission to court. However, Powell termed such a move as being "likely."

The FCC's five-commissioner body will vote Feb. 26 on whether to adopt a proposal for strident regulation of Internet service providers. It has been taken as a foregone conclusion that the three Democratic members of this commission will give the proposal the votes it needs to pass.

Powell, whose constituency includes large cable broadcast service providers such as Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), is among those vigorously opposed to the proposal. In fact, he described FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal as a "fatal step" to C-SPAN. Powell also released a full summary of his dissent in a Wednesday blog post.

The NCTA chief executive has also asked that Wheeler reveal the full proposal prior to the Feb. 26 vote.

"The chairman's correct in saying that past practice is generally not to do so," he told C-SPAN. "But it's also equally true that nothing prevents him from doing so should he choose."

For more:
- read this Advanced Television story
- read this Washington Post blog post
- read this NCTA blog post

Complete coverage: Net neutrality for wireless and wireline carriers

Related links:
NCTA calls 25 Mbps broadband definition excessive in FCC filing
Broadband providers, NCTA support Republicans' net-neutrality proposal
NCTA to FCC: Google can already attach to utility poles without Title II