Verizon appeals FCC’s net-neutrality rules

Verizon filed an appeal in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday arguing the Federal Communications Commission lacks the statutory authority to impose net-neutrality regulations.

“Verizon is fully committed to an open Internet, Verizon Deputy General Counsel Michael Glover said in a news release. “We are deeply concerned by the FCCs assertion of broad authority to impose potentially sweeping and unneeded regulations on broadband networks and services and on the Internet itself.

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“We believe this assertion of authority is inconsistent with the statute and will create uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers.”

In its court filing, Verizon cites the courts decision to reject the FCCs previous attempt at enforcing net neutrality last year and argues the commission has overstepped its legal authority in attempting to prevent Internet service providers from discriminating between similar sources of content.

“We are pleased that, since its adoption, the Commissions Open Internet framework has brought certainty and predictability, stimulating increased innovation and investment across the broadband economy, including mobile networks and apps,” an FCC spokesman said in response to the appeal. 

“We will vigorously oppose any effort to disrupt or unsettle that certainty, which ensures that the Internet remains an engine for job creation, innovation and economic growth.”

A federal court threw out Verizons previous challenge to the net-neutrality regulations in April, arguing the challenge was premature. Verizon on Friday followed through on its pledge to revisit the issue. The rules are scheduled to take effect Nov. 20.

Since the rules were published in the Federal Register last week, there have already been four challenges from proponents arguing the rules dont go far enough and should apply to wireless firms. Verizons challenge is different in that it argues the rules go too far and should be struck down.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski decided against reclassifying broadband Internet access as an information service before the commission approved the rules in December, but left that docket open. The commission could presumably still reclassify broadband service if the court rules in favor of Verizon.

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