Court chucks Verizon’s net-neutrality appeal; company will refile

A Verizon spokesman made it clear the company will file again after the regulations are published. He said the rules for appealing FCC actions were not perfectly clear, and Verizon interpreted them differently than the court. 

The FCC was quick to praise the decision. 

FCC spokesman Rob Kenny said: “We are pleased the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed with the Commission that Verizon and MetroPCS were premature in challenging the Open Internet framework.”

He also hailed the policy itself: “The Commission’s policy preserves Internet freedom and openness and strikes the right balance for consumers and businesses across America.”

Net-neutrality proponents also praised the decision. 

“We are pleased that the court dismissed Verizon’s untimely and distracting challenge to the FCC’s net-neutrality order,” said Harold Feld, legal director at Public Knowledge. “Now we are confident the judicial system will deal with any and all appeals raised in an orderly and fair manner.”

The FCC rules face a longer time period than usual for arriving in the Federal Register because of holdups in the Paperwork Reduction Act. The act triggered a 60-day comment period at the FCC, ending April 10.

This is the second setback Verizon has faced in its appeal process. The court dismissed in February a push by Verizon to assign the case to a particular panel of judges who have expressed skepticism of net-neutrality regulations in the past.

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