Verizon sues to overturn 'net neutrality' rules

Verizon Communications, the largest U.S. cell phone carrier, is suing to overturn new government regulations governing the flow of Internet traffic.

The lawsuit filed Friday in Washington's U.S. Court of Appeals contends the overstepped its authority in setting its so-called "" rules last year. The regulations are scheduled to go into effect in two months. They prohibit Internet service providers from discriminating against or giving special treatment to particular online services or content.

That may seem like a good idea, but the FCC had a hard time coming up with a solution that pleases everyone.

Earlier this week, a media and group sued to block the rules in a Boston federal court. The group, Free Press, objects to a provision that gives cell phone companies some flexibility to manage traffic so their wireless systems aren't overwhelmed.

Inc. doesn't think the FCC should be involved at all.

"We are deeply concerned by the FCC's assertion of broad authority to impose potentially sweeping and unneeded regulations on broadband networks and services and on the Internet itself," said Michael Glover, Verizon's general counsel. "We believe this assertion of authority is inconsistent with the statute and will create uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers."

Verizon filed a similar suit against the FCC's regulations earlier this year, but it was thrown out after the court determined the complaint was premature. Since then, the new rules were published in the Federal Register, giving Verizon a new opportunity to mount a challenge.

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User comments

Oct 01, 2011
On the subject of net neutrality, Bob Gibson, Executive Director of the University of Virginias Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, recently said: Its a debate that is going on in the Congress, and its 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 dont 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 fi

Oct 01, 2011
"We are deeply concerned by the FCC's assertion of broad authority to impose potentially sweeping and unneeded regulations on broadband networks and services and on the Internet itself,"

AKA.......boohooo verizon you must just be scraping by as it is, we surely would like to leave open the future possibility of removing competitive services and resources to your benefit

I am not one for government intervention and I think this is a failboat attempt at "neutrality"....but I am not for verizons greed either

Oct 01, 2011
We have seen what corporations do with no regulations. Regulations exist for a reason, this nonsense that the free market by itself self corrects caused the current mess we are in economically. It also caused the Great Depression. It was the relaxation of regulation and letting banks go forward with unfettered greed that caused toxic assets.

Now we hear regulation for the internet is bad. Problem is, the regulation we are talking about is the requirement for free and open access where ever we (the leasers of the internet connection)want to go. Why do you think corporations are fighting this so hard? It isn't because they object to regulation, it is because they want to regulate US. They want to control what we know and what we see. This is acceptable to everyone?

I am not a conspiracy theorist, I don't buy most of what I read on the internet. This is pretty obvious though, and yet people buy into the no regulations argument.

Oct 01, 2011
The "invisible hand" of free-market self-correction is attached to the body of corporate interests. Look at what happened to those whose unregulated greed created the current economic crisis. While a couple of players were singled out to do some time, the rest just walked away with their wealth intact and the corporations were bailed out using the taxes of their victims. Ever since the Supreme Court ruled to remove any limitation from corporate investment in their favorite politician, I have lost all hope of government "by the people, for the people".

Oct 01, 2011
The internet needs to remain free. That means free from government as well as corporate control. ISPs need to act as toll roads: they can charge more for bandwidth usage or speed, the way a toll road can charge a big rig more than a car because the rig takes up more road and puts more wear on the road. But it'd be crooked for the toll to charge more because the truck is owned by the toll company's competitor and let affiliated trucks in for less, or forbid vehicles from certain states from entering. Likewise, it should be illegal for ISPs to disciminate based on web address or company, but that should be the end of it, and the government must not be allowed to even fathom regulating the content of, or access to, the internet.

Oct 02, 2011
The governments regulations are not about what you watch or how you use the internet, it is about restricting companies right to restrict what you watch or how you use the internet. Internet neutrality is about keeping the internet free. I keep hearing the doublespeak, and yet people with suspect motives keep trying to confuse the issue to kill these badly needed regulations.

Companies don't just throttle bandwidth, they also cut downloads off midstream.

Oct 02, 2011
Internet carriers are granted an artificial monopoly over local wiring and interstate fiber. Without the government they couldn't even exist. F*** them.

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