Court Suspends Briefing Schedule in Net Neutrality Challenge

Companies said they need time beyond Dec. 6 deadline to incorporate court's ruling on data roaming
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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has
suspended its briefing schedule, including a Dec. 6 filing deadline.

Verizon
and MetroPCS had asked for more time and space from the court
to make their
case against the FCC's network neutrality rules given that the deadline is Thursday,
and added that if the court can't decide by then, it should suspend the Dec.6
deadline until it does rule on the request. The court suspended the schedule
pending action on the underlying request.

The companies' request was prompted by the decision of that
same court Monday in Verizon's challenge to the FCC's data roaming rules Cellco
Partnership [Verizon] v. FCC.

In a motion filed with the court Wednesday, Verizon and
MetroPCS asked for two more weeks from the current Dec. 6 deadline to file the
latest briefs in their network neutrality challenge so they can incorporate
this week's roaming decision into their filings, and for 1,000 additional words
(the limit is 6,000) for their joint brief and 350 additional words for
MetroPCS' separate filing (the limit is 2,000 words).

They point out that the roaming case, in which the court
upheld the FCC's application of voice roaming obligations to data, deals with
similar issues and was released only two days before the Dec. 6 deadline.

"Among other things, Cellco Partnership addresses the
meaning of the Communications Act's bans on common carriage regulation,"
they pointed out.

"Appellants believe in good faith that they need a
brief period of additional time and a modest amount of additional words in
order properly to analyze and address the effect of Cellco Partnership on the
arguments in their reply briefs and ultimately on the case, so as to provide
the Court with a consolidated analysis of the issues that avoids piecemeal
briefing."

The court has yet to set a date for oral argument.

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