Free Press Quietly Drops Net Neutrality Challenge

Decides there are better ways to fight for ‘net freedom than opposing FCC effort
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Free Press last week dropped its court challenge to the FCC's network neutrality rules, which went into effect last fall.

Unlike Verizon and MetroPCS, which are seeking to overturn the rules as beyond the FCC's authority, arbitrary and capricious and unconstitutional, Free Press felt the rules did not go far enough -- they did not apply to wireless and had a carve-out for managed services, for example.

Free Press's initial brief in the case was due July 2 (as was the Verizon/MetroPCS brief), but Free Press quietly dropped the challenge, deciding to put its resources elsewhere.

According to someone familiar with the move, it came after the group concluded that the argument in the case would come down to the FCC's authority to impose the rules rather than Free Press' issues of what those rules should apply to.

"We felt that there were better ways to accomplish our goals of promoting Internet freedom, and decided to direct our resources elsewhere in the continued campaign to preserve the open Internet," said Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood.

Scott Cleland of Netcompetition.org, saw the move as a fall-back to a more defensible position. "Free Press obviously knows the Appeals Court has already found in Comcast vs. The FCC that the FCC does not have regulatory authority over broadband, and appreciates that Verizon has four strong additional legal and constitutional arguments against the FCC order," he said.

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