Washington

D.C. Circuit to Hear Net Neutrality Rule Challenges

Have been consolidated in Verizon's -- the main opponent of the rules -- choice of venue 10/06/2011 04:32:50 PM Eastern

The legal challenges to the FCC's network neutrality rules have been randomly consolidated in the D.C. Circuit. according to a copy of the notice from the U.S. Judicial Panel.

There were a number of separate challenges, from both fans (Free Press, Media Access Project) and foes (Verizon) of network neutrality rules, filed in the First, Second, Third, Fourth and Ninth Circuits. MAP filed in the Ninth and Fourth Circuits, while Free Press flied in the Second and Third. Public Knowledge did not file suite, but filed a motion to intervene in favor  of the FCC's rules. Free Press and MAP are challenging the rules as not sufficiently regulatory -- they exclude wireless broadband -- while Verizon says they are unnecessary and illegal.

Those challenges have now been consolidated in Verizon's choice of venue, the D.C. circuit, which vacated the FCC's smackdown of Comcast in the BitTorrent case, saying the commission had not sufficiently established its authority over Comcast's network management practices.

It was that decision that essentially led to the FCC to codify its network neutrality guidelines in the order now being challenged by Verizon et al.

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