updated 02:45 pm EST, Tue January 25, 2011
MetroPCS joins Verizon in suing over neutrality
"Challenges raised by some proponents of net neutrality to MetroPCS' recent 4G rate plans... have caused MetroPCS to appeal the FCC's net neutrality order to ensure that the concerns of competitive wireless carriers, like MetroPCS, are addressed," he said.
The carrier has been chastised by public advocacy groups such as the Center for Media Justice and the Media Access Project for implementing plans that tier pricing based on what content a user is allowed to access on the Internet. It blocks the use of Skype and requires that users pay an extra $20 per month for access to Netflix. Both limits would explicitly violate net neutrality rules as they offend the "no blocking" condition that prevents companies from fencing off legal access to the Internet and apps, whether absolutely or based on price.
While Verizon is believed to want a deregulated Internet to block competitive services, the MetroPCS dispute is unique in presenting a direct violation as a test case. The FCC in crafting the rules specifically warned of bans on Skype being used to unfairly shelter the conventional voice call business.