updated 05:20 pm EST, Thu January 20, 2011
Verizon hopes to tear down FCC neutrality terms
Verizon on Thursday said it would appeal the FCC's net neutrality rules in an attempt to force deregulation. Company deputy general counsel Michael Glover largely echoed the views of Republican FCC commissioners Baker and McDowell and hoped to spread fear and doubt surrounding the reach of the rules, which would prevent app blocking on all Internet access as well as service-specific throttling. It disagreed with the FCC's cited precedents and insisted that the rules were too broad.
"We are deeply concerned by the FCC's assertion of broad authority for sweeping new regulation of broadband networks and the Internet itself," Glover claimed. "We believe this assertion of authority goes well beyond any authority provided by Congress, and creates uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers."
The executive further tried to recast Verizon as "preserving an open Internet" and to have worked with partners to that end.
The claims contradict Verizon's practices on the web and primarily on mobile. While it has largely abided by such ideas on its wired Internet access and hasn't throttled individual app traffic on FiOS or DSL, it has periodically violated net neutrality concepts in the mobile space. The company prevents Skype from using pure data when on 3G and, on phones with Bing search pre-installed, blocks attempts to use Google through certain apps. It has partly backtracked from this view by allowing Skype to use voice on 4G, but dismantling the FCC rules would let it freely block any app it deems too competitive with its established business.
Verizon is known to be primarily upset that the FCC didn't accept its joint proposal with Google as-is. Many of the elements of the suggestion translated to the final net neutrality order, but Verizon had pushed Google to compromise its values and exempt wireless from any neutrality conditions. Google said that it had accepted the proposal because it wanted some neutrality rules rather than none, but its heavy dependence on Verizon for Android sales has been considered a strong financial incentive.
It's unclear if any other carriers will attempt to appeal the order.