MetroPCS drops challenge to net neutrality rules

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Supporters of the rules argue they are critical for ensuring an open Internet and promoting competition, but critics claim the rules unnecessarily restrict businesses and amount to government control of the Internet.

Putting the regulations into place was one of the signature accomplishments by Chairman Julius Genachowski, who will step down at the end of the day.

In a statement, Genachowski applauded T-Mobile for withdrawing the MetroPCS suit.

“The FCC’s widely supported open Internet framework has contributed to healthy growth in innovation and investment across the U.S. broadband economy. Since 2010, our strong and balanced rules have been protecting entrepreneurs and consumers, and have increased certainty and predictability for investors in Internet services as well as networks," he said. 

"The ongoing litigation – now pursued by a single company – only serves to reduce that certainty and predictability," Genachowski added.

Verizon declined to comment.

The company's lawsuit, which is pending before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, claims the FCC lacked the authority to adopt the regulations. Verizon also argues the rules are "arbitrary and capricious" and violate its First Amendment free speech rights.

Gigi Sohn, president of consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge, claimed Verizon's ongoing challenge is an "attempt to take away the FCC's ability to protect consumers and promote competition." 

"In addition to being anti-consumer, this is against the long-term interests of the largest incumbent providers," she said.

—Updated at 3:20 p.m.