updated 06:15 pm EDT, Fri September 30, 2011
Verizon officially appeals FCC neutrality again
As expected, Verizon on Friday formally submitted a federal appeal against the FCC's net neutrality rules now that they should take effect. The telecom giant repeated the same general complaints it made when it made a premature appeal in January. It tried to portray the US agency as out of control, making "potentially sweeping and unneeded regulations" and fostering "uncertainty" in the industry.
"Verizon is fully committed to an open Internet," deputy general counsel Michael Glover insisted.
MetroPCS, which objected to rules that it was already violating by blocking Netflix for some users, has yet to follow with any challenge of its own.
The appeal is generally considered ironic given that the softened terms for cellular neutrality may have effectively been dictated by Verizon. Google publicly struck a compromise with Verizon for an unofficial proposal that would have barred companies from unfairly restricting traffic. The FCC's final rules are a near match and only have a basic no-blocking rule as well as transparency requirements for any network management the carrier might impose, such as throttling or limiting apps to Wi-Fi beyond a certain amount of data.
Public advocacy groups, including companies like Free Press that are suing the FCC, have argued that the rules are hobbled and should treat wireless just as thoroughly as wired access, where most forms of discrimination aren't allowed. They have argued that Verizon's real goal is to have no regulation at all and that it wants the right to ban or slow down competitors' services.