As expected, Verizon filed a challenge to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Net Neutrality Report and order. The suit questions the FCC’s authority over broadband networks and the Internet.
Why Verizon Filed Their Net Neutrality Lawsuit In A DC Appeals Court
Verizon’s decision to file in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is anything but random. A bench with a corporate-friendly reputation, it’s the same court that sided with communications giant Comcast, against the FCC, in a network traffic discrimination case.
To justify its jurisdictional choice, Verizon held that net neutrality guidelines involve FCC license modifications — an issue always handled by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
FCC Powers Anchor Net Neutrality Debate
Verizon’s main argument: The FCC doesn’t have jurisdictional or regulatory sway over us, with regards to the net neutrality question.
Created by the Communications Act of 1934, the FCC is charged with regulating international and interstate communications by satellite, television, wire, radio, and cable.
What Net Neutrality Would Mean For Verizon (& You)
Under the network neutrality order, three significant rules would go into effect.
- Mobile and fixed broadband providers must be transparent about their network management practices.
- Fixed broadband providers would be forbidden from blocking; mobile broadband providers may block applications, but not competitive services.
- Fixed broadband providers couldn’t engage in unreasonable traffic discrimination.
People in favor of net neutrality believe these rules will keep the Internet free and open. Opponents, however, believe the rules will hamstring broadband providers and make it harder for them to combat spam and malicious servers, ultimately making the Internet less safe.
Speak With An Internet Lawyer
The FCC’s net neutrality order — and Verizon’s subsequent appeal — are generating a great deal of buzz, but it’s still early in the game. The legal community, communications industry, and free Internet advocates will be watching this case with interest.
For more information about how the net neutrality rules will affect you, contact a qualified Internet lawyer.