The court ruled that VoIP services are covered as “information services,” and therefore states must defer to the federal government’s policies. Pai and his cronies rolled back very popular and clearly business-friendly net neutrality consumer protections, creating this need. He’s also lying about the ruling, according to a lawyer involved in one of the many net neutrality cases, who told Ars Technica that this case “has no bearing” on net neutrality.
The net neutrality case is being handled by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, so it will be decided by different judges. The details are also different in the net neutrality case, said attorney Andrew Schwartzman, who represents the Benton Foundation in the case against the FCC.
In the net neutrality case, “the Pai FCC definitively said that it has no jurisdiction under either Title I or Title II [of the Communications Act] to regulate broadband Internet access service,” Schwartzman told Ars. “As the governmental parties explained at pp. 39-56 their brief, when an agency lacks authority to regulate, it also lacks authority to preempt.”
The FCC never made a decision as to the regulatory classification of VoIPs. As a result, the court was dealing with that question first and foremost in issuing its ruling. Ajit Pai is making use of a court ruling about a case that is not the same as the net neutrality case he’s applying it to. Ajit Pai is a lawyer and should know better. So he’s either very consciously lying, or he’s a dumb lawyer. I’m willing to bet he’s a bit of category A and bit of category B.