Verizon: Net Neutrality Appeal Not Filed Too Soon

Verizon Communications Inc. on Monday asserted it timely filed its notice of appeal to challenge the Federal Communications Commissions Net neutrality rules that prohibit broadband providers from discriminating on their networks. 

In a document filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Verizon said it filed its notice within thirty days of the release date of the agencys order.”

The Federal Communications Commission last week asked the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., to dismiss court challenges of its Open Internet Order.  

In motions filed with the court, the FCC contends Verizon and MetroPCS Communications prematurely filed notices to appeal the agencys order, otherwise commonly referred to as its Net neutrality rules.

The dispute concerns when the FCC gave public notice of its controversial order. The FCC said that wont happen until its order is published in the Federal Register. 

But Verizon said the court will hear its case at some point regardless of whether the public notice is the date the order is published in the Federal Register or the date the order was released (Dec. 23).  

Verizon said it plans to file a notice of appeal after the Open Internet Order is published in the Federal Register and pointed out that the FCC acknowledged Verizon may timely challenge the order after it is published in the federal governments daily publication.

Further, this Court has exclusive jurisdiction over Verizons appeal, a critical point that the FCC has not contested,” Verizon stated in its response to the FCCs motion to dismiss Verizons case.  For all these reasons, Verizons challenge to the Order will be heard in this Court, regardless of whether the public notice is the release date or the date of Federal Register publication.”

Citing a federal appeals court case, the FCC asserted in its motion to dismiss Verizons case that an appeal filed prior to Federal Register publication of the challenged order is incurably premature.”

That settled principal requires dismissal of Verizons notice of appeal at this time because it was filed too early, although Verizon may pursue a timely challenge to the Open Internet Order after its publication,” the FCC added.

In December, the FCC voted 3-2 to prohibit broadband carriers from blocking lawful content or unreasonably discriminating against applications or services. The rules also require broadband carriers to make certain public disclosures regarding their network management practices, performance and commercial terms. 

Fewer of the rules apply to mobile broadband providers like Dallas-based MetroPCS. 

Verizon and MetroPCS contend the Open Internet Order exceeded the FCCs authority, was arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion, violated constitutional rights and otherwise was contrary to law.

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