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Verizon Fights Net Neutrality Order

Jeff Baumgartner
1/20/2011

As expected, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), is suing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over last month's network neutrality order.

Verizon filed the appeal Thursday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, arguing that the FCC's order oversteps the Commission's authority.

The FCC approved the order in a 3-2 vote on Dec. 21, putting into action new rules that generally disallow ISPs from blocking or discriminating against legal content and applications and calls on them to be transparent regarding how they manage their networks.

The court hearing Verizon's complaint will be the same one that shot down the FCC's previous order pertaining to Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s throttling of some upstream peer-to-peer traffic

Why this matters
If this court sides with Verizon, it would mark the second time the FCC's authority on network neutrality matters was cut down to size, and the first time involving the nation's wireline and wireless network and service operators.

The network-neutrality issue could then end up in the hands of Congress, where many detractors of the FCC order believe it belongs anyway. The result would be a giant do-over on the matter.

When the order was voted in, FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker argued in her comments, that President Obama's campaign promises served as the "only reason" why the rules were being rushed through.

The FCC had no immediate comment on the Verizon court action.

For more
For more on the FCC's network-neutrality adventures, please check out the following stories:





— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



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