This is the third major suit by a major trade/lobby group, following ones by USTelecom and the wireless industry’s CTIA. And the National Cable & Telecommunications Association is firing big guns: Its case will be handled by former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson and former Assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General Miguel Estrada.

NCTA logoIn reclassifying the Internet as a regulated communications utility, the FCC has “impermissibly rewritten the Communications Act,” Olson says. “Congress clearly intended for the Internet to evolve unencumbered by complex, inefficient government regulations. Instead of letting regulators play the central role in determining how the Internet evolves, they wanted these decisions to be left to the creativity of entrepreneurs, engineers and consumers. The Commission’s decision to expand its power and apply heavy regulation has undermined that core principle. I believe we have a powerful and compelling case.”

Former FCC Chairman Michael Powell, who now leads the cable trade group, says the NCTA “regrettably” is appealing the rules at the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. It wants Congress “to assert its role in setting national policy, by enacting legislation that fully protects the open Internet, without the harmful impact of public utility regulation.”