In the latest volley in its attack on the FCC's network
neutrality order, Verizon essentially counts all the ways it says the FCC got
it wrong in its defense of the rules, including what it says is the FCC's first
claim that it has the direct authority to regulate the Internet.
That came in Verizon's reply brief to the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
to the FCC's brief defending the decision, said: (1) The FCC's reasoning
that the order "escapes" a statutory ban on common carrier regs is
wrong and flatly conflicts with existing doctrine; (2) the commission relies on
"far too slender a thread" to support its claim of Internet
regulatory authority; (3) contrary to the FCC's assertion, broadband providers
are speakers, whose speech the FCC has curtailed without justification; and (4)
the order is arbitrary and capricious because there is no record of abuse.
Verizon also echoes an issue being raised in a separate
case, the Supreme Court challenge to the FCC's authority to preempt state and
local tower citing regs. "As an initial matter, the FCC should not receive
deference when opining on the existence and scope of its statutory
authority," Verizon said in the brief.
That Supreme Court case could decide whether an appeals
court should give so-called Chevron deference (deference to an agencies special
subject-matter expertise) to an agency's decision about the limits of its own
authority. Verizon thinks it shouldn't, and argued that in a brief in the High
Court this week.
The reply filing was actually a joint one with MetroPCS,
which is also challenging the rules. Date for oral argument in the case has not
yet been set.