The Open Technology Institute Defends Net Neutrality in Federal Court

Press Release
Dec. 4, 2015

Washington, D.C. — Today, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the FCC’s historic Open Internet Order, which was adopted in February. The lawsuit, which was filed by several Internet service providers and their trade associations earlier this year, challenges the FCC’s legal authority to adopt the Order.

New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) formally joined the case as an intervenor in May, joining Free Press, Public Knowledge, and several technology companies that are defending the FCC against the lawsuit. OTI is represented by Kevin Russell, a partner at Goldstein & Russell, P.C., who has argued multiple cases before the Supreme Court and argued today at the D.C. Circuit that the Open Internet Order was adopted on sound legal authority and strongly supports the public interest.

The following quote can be attributed to Sarah J. Morris, Senior Policy Counsel at the Open Technology Institute:

By following the roadmap provided by the Supreme Court’s 2005 “Brand X” case and the D.C. Circuit’s 2014 “Verizon” case, the FCC crafted its Order on the strongest legal foundation. OTI was deeply engaged in the FCC’s proceeding to draft the rules, pushing hard for equal network neutrality protections over mobile networks, and ensuring that the FCC didn’t allow interconnection disputes to become a gaping loophole in an otherwise comprehensive order.

Today, the masterful team that included FCC attorneys, leading appellate litigator Kevin Russell, and network neutrality oral argument veteran Pantelis Michalopoulos defended every facet of those rules through hours of rigorous questioning from the judges.

We remain confident in the strength of the rules and are encouraged by the Court’s responsiveness to the legal arguments made by the FCC and its intervenors.

The following quote can be attributed to Michael Calabrese, Director of the Wireless Future Program at the Open Technology Institute:

The issue of applying net neutrality consumer protections equally to wireless networks was a particular focus of the court. The judges showed they are clearly aware of the importance of a common regulatory framework for Internet access, since consumers on smartphones and tablets increasingly move back and forth between wireline or wireless connections. The FCC clearly established its authority to reclassify both wireline and wireless Internet access as common carrier services and in a manner that protects consumers from blocking, throttling or discrimination.

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To schedule an interview, or for more information, please contact Alison Yost, Communications Manager at OTI, at (202) 596-3345 or

About New America
New America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute dedicated to renewing America in the digital age through big ideas, technological innovation and creative engagement with broad audiences. To learn more, please visit us online or follow us on Twitter @NewAmerica.

About the Open Technology Institute
The Open Technology Institute (OTI) is a global pioneer in developing innovative communications technologies and policies to enable communities to fully participate in the global economy, and freely shape their democracies. To learn more, please visit us online at and on Twitter @OTI.

Alison Yost
Open Technology Institute
Communications Manager
740 15th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20005