AfterDawn: Tech news

Verizon sues FCC over net neutrality rules

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 30 Sep 2011 18:27

Verizon sues FCC over net neutrality rules Yesterday Verizon Communications filed a challenge to the FCC's authority to mandate net neutrality through their Open Internet rules.
The rules, drafted last December, were officially entered into the Federal Register last week. They will go into effect on November 20 unless a successful legal challenge is mounted between now and then.

Verizon's filing was actually an appeal of a decision from April when they first challenged the rules. The case was dismissed at the time because new rules can't be challenged until after a schedule to put them in place has been set.

A Verizon statement on the lawsuit said:

Today's filing is the result of a careful review of the FCC's order. We are deeply concerned by the FCC's assertion of broad authority for sweeping new regulation of broadband networks and the Internet itself. We believe this assertion of authority goes well beyond any authority provided by Congress, and creates uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers.


Recent history suggests Verizon will lose in court thanks to a 2005 Supreme Court ruling which gave the FCC nearly unlimited power to determine what level of regulation broadband Internet providers are subject to.

Ironically, it was the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, representing broadband providers, who won that case. While the issue in question was different, the majority opinion issued as a result sets a high bar for challenging almost any regulation, or lack thereof, the FCC may decide on.

Verizon's challenge is not the only one the FCC must contend with. Earlier this week the media reform organization Free Press filed their own lawsuit protesting the application of different rules for wired and wireless (mobile) providers.

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