Policy + charging

The FCC Strikes Back

3:45 PM -- Just as lawsuits against its new network-neutrality rules begin to mount, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has filed a motion asking that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismiss lawsuits filed recently by Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS). (See MetroPCS Joins Fight Against Net Neutrality Rules, New Bill Gives Net Neutrality Some Teeth, Verizon Fights Net Neutrality Order and FCC Votes to Approve Net Neutrality Rules.)

The FCC is arguing that the court lacks jurisdiction in the case and that the carriers jumped the gun because they filed before the new rules were published in the Federal Register.

The appeals are "fatally premature and must be dismissed," the FCC claimed.

Verizon reportedly responded that it will "respond in due course." Thanks for that.

Although no one was shocked to see the FCC try to get these appeals dismissed, I do find its argument curious. Is this not the same court that already ruled against the FCC in the Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) case? So why didn't the FCC challenge its jurisdiction in the matter back then? (See Net Neutrality Ruling: FCC Loses, Comcast Wins.)

And this whole gun-jumping thing, to me, just delays the inevitable. If the case does get dismissed on those grounds, won't Verizon and MetroPCS just bide their time and file again?

At that point, we'll still be back where we started, with the FCC still grasping for an argument that stands a chance.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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