Verizon urges court to scrap net-neutrality rules

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Supporters of the rules say they preserve competition and consumer choice, but opponents argue they are an unnecessary burden on businesses and amount to government control of the Internet. 

The D.C. Court of Appeals, which is hearing Verizon's challenge, ruled against the FCC when it tried to enforce the principle of net neutrality against Comcast in 2010. That setback led the FCC to enact its current regulation later that year.  

In Monday's filing, Verizon argued that instead of "proceeding with caution" in light of the Comcast ruling, the FCC adopted rules that "go even farther than its prior action and impose dramatic new restrictions on broadband Internet access service providers."

"Here again, the FCC has acted without statutory authority to insert itself into this crucial segment of the American economy, while failing to show any factual need to do so," Verizon wrote.

The company argued that Congress never authorized the FCC to regulate Internet access and that the agency acted without sufficient evidence to suggest the rules were necessary.

Verizon claimed that the rules violate its First Amendment free speech rights.

"Broadband networks are the modern-day microphone by which their owners engage in First Amendment speech," Verizon wrote.

The company also argued the rules violate the Fifth Amendment by forcing broadband network owners to allow others to use their private property for free.

MetroPCS is also suing the FCC over the rules and joined in many of Verizon's arguments.

An FCC spokesman said the agency looks "forward to defending our open Internet rules in court."

"This strong and balanced framework is helping ensure that the Internet continues to thrive as an engine for innovation, investment, job creation, and free expression,” the agency spokesman said in an email. 

The FCC's legal response is due in September.