Washington, January 24, 2011 – Verizon Communications filed a federal lawsuit Thursday, challenging the Federal Communications Commission's recent Open Internet Order.
Verizon argued that the FCC does not have the authority to implement the new rules. The Order, which was handed down from the Commission but has not yet taken effect provides three guidelines by which internet service providers (ISPs) must abide in their offerings to consumers. First, the Commission said, ISPs must provide services in a transparent manner by disclosing their network management practices and performance characteristics. Second, network providers must not block lawful content from their customers, and third, providers may not unreasonably discriminate by prioritizing certain network traffic without sufficient reason.
Verizon based the appeal on its existing spectrum license, which it contends would be modified by the Open Internet Order. That order, the company alleges, would implement changes that are in excess of the FCC’s authority and are contrary to the company's constitutional rights. The appeal does not state which constitutional rights would be violated by enforcement of the Order.
Verizon's appeal harkens to Comcast's allegations in its successful suit against the FCC, which was decided last year. In Comcast v. FCC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, ruled in favor of Comcast when it challenged the FCC’s authority to enforce its net neutrality principles against the company.
Comcast also promises to weigh heavily on Verizon's appeal - or so Verizon apparently hopes. The company seems to have begun to draw the two cases together from the outset. Verizon not only filed its appeal with the D.C. Circuit, but then moved to assign the case to the same panel of judges that decided Comcast. Additionally, Verizon’s lead attorney, Helgi Walker of D.C. law firm, Wiley Rein LLP, represented Comcast in its case against the Commission.
“Verizon has the legal right to do this, but we are disappointed that they filed suit,” said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV), Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee in a joint statement. Both legislators are supporters of net neutrality and have defended the Open Internet Order.
“We support the FCC’s efforts because they will protect consumers and provide companies with the certainty they need to make investments in our growing digital economy.”
- Broadband Roundup: Global Internet Censorship, Tribal Divide, Klobuchar on the Broadband Stump
- Misinformation Expert Warns About the Great Risks of Political Tampering In the 2020 Election
- Belt and Road Initiative Featured as Hudson Institute Panelists Debate China’s Economic Sustainability
- Tech Officials Diagnose Excessive Trump Actions as Product of ‘Huawei Derangement Syndrome’
- Broadband Roundup: Congress Questions FCC Over Rural Fund, Banning Huawei, T-Mobile/Sprint Merger and Inequality
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Broadband Data9 months ago
Pennsylvania Broadband Speeds Worse Than Previously Believed, According to State Report
Intellectual Property7 months ago
In Congressional Oversight Hearing, Register of Copyrights Says Office Is Responding to Online Users
Broadband Data8 months ago
California Report: Income Most Significant Factor in Low Broadband Adoption
Broadband Roundup6 months ago
Cable Industry Touts Energy Efficiency, Next Century Highlights Open Access Fiber, Aspen Forum Set
FCC10 years ago
Telecom Companies Are Using Fight Interrupting Oscar Ceremony Broadcast To Manipulate Public and FCC, Argue Broadcasters
Privacy and Security6 months ago
Comparing Privacy Policies for Wearable Fitness Trackers: Apple, Fitbit, Xiaomi and Under Armour
Open Access2 months ago
UTOPIA Fiber: A Model Open-Access Network
Antitrust5 months ago
Addressing the Impact of Big Data Upon Antitrust is More Complicated Than a Big Tech Breakup