Washington

Verizon Challenges Net Neutrality Rules

Telco not happy with FCC's compromise proposal approved Dec. 21 1/20/2011 04:17:13 PM Eastern

Verizon has challenged the FCC's network neutrality rules in
federal appeals court.

The FCC voted on a 3-2 partyline vote to expand and codify its network neutrality rules Dec. 21 with support, or
at least a lack of overt opposition, from many industry players. But Verizon signaled at the time it was not happy with the
compromise proposal.

Verizon
argues in its appeal that the FCC's Dec. 21 order exceeds its authority,
is arbitrary and capricious and an abuse of its discretion, and is
unconsitutional as well. It asks that the FCC vacate the order and "provide such additional relief as may be appropriate."
 

"Verizon has long been committed to preserving an open
Internet and meeting the needs of our customers," the company said in a
statement. "We have worked extensively with all players in the Internet
and communications space to shape policies that ensure an open Internet and
encourage investment, innovation and collaboration with content providers and
others to meet the needs of consumers."

"Today's filing is the result of a careful review of the
FCC's order. We are deeply concerned by the FCC's assertion of broad authority
for sweeping new regulation of broadband networks and the Internet itself. We
believe this assertion of authority goes well beyond any authority provided by
Congress, and creates uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators,
investors and consumers," the company said. 

"Verizon's
decision demonstrates that even the most weak and watered-down rules aren't
enough to appease giant phone companies," said Free Press Policy
Counsel Aparna Sridhar in a statement.

Free Press
had pushed for net neutrality regs, but wanted them tougher, and the FCC to
buttress them by classifying Internet access as a Title II telecommunications
service subject to access regulations. The FCC has kept the Title II docket
open, but has indicated it thinks its new regs are legally sustainable under
its current classification.

The suit was filed in the D.C. Circuit,
which was the same one that called the FCC's Internet access oversight
authority into question in throwing out the FCC's ruling that Comcast
had impermissibly blocked BitTorrent file
uploads.

September
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