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FCC motions to block Verizon's anti-net neutrality lawsuit

updated 04:30 pm EDT, Thu October 6, 2011

FCC says Verizon lawsuit lacks jurisdiction

Verizon's second attempt to appeal the FCC's net neutrality rules has been met with a rebuttal from the FCC. The governing body is now arguing Verizon's lawsuit is not valid because it doesn't have the needed jurisdiction. The new rules are due to take place into November 20.

The FCC said Verizon's appeal is only applicable when the Court is asked to review an FCC order that modifies specific individual licenses. It can't be applied to generally applicable FCC orders such as this Open Internet Order that regulates a broad group of licensees as a class, the Commission said.

In the lawsuit, Verizon argued the FCC does not have the authority to enforce restrictions on how carriers and service providers go about offering Internet connections to their subscribers. The FCC, in turn, claimed there are statutes in place that give it that power.

The net neutrality rules would stop ISPs from blocking access to specific websites and VoIP calling services like Skype. Network management policies would also have to be freely available and disclosed. [via PhoneScoop]

By Electronista Staff
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    Gibson on net neutrality

    On the subject of net neutrality, Bob Gibson, Executive Director of the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, recently said: “It’s a debate that is going on in the Congress, and it’s really: Is the Internet going to be something that everyone has free and open access to, or, is it going to be something that is sort of controlled? What we don’t need is a lot of government control in the businesses of the internet. I think what we need is more of what we have with National Public Radio, which is a really true and balanced set of reporting that unfortunately has become politicized. What we are seeing is a shift from “anything goes” on the Internet to a shift where major corporations are shaping the news outlets and buying up more and more of the news outlets and putting them under corporate control and one set of a small number of hands.... We need freeware, we need shareware, and we need open access. People need to be able to trust sources that they can find on the internet, rather than have them controlled in a small number of hands or by the government.” (Gibson appeared on the Charlottesville, VA, politics interview program Politics Matters with host and producer Jan Madeleine Paynter discussing journalism

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