Verizon sues FCC

By Cindy Waxer January 21, 2011

The Federal Communications Commission might have given the OK to new rules that forbid broadband companies from interfering with Internet traffic, but you better believe telecommunication giants are fighting back.

Verizon Communications has just filed an appeal in the United States Court of Appeals, challenging the FCC’s attempt to regulate Internet access with its recently approved net neutrality rules. The telco giant maintains that the FCC does not have the legal authority to determine how carriers deliver traffic to their customers and govern content on their networks.

"Today's filing is the result of a careful review of the FCC's order,” said Michael E. Glover, Verizon senior vice president and deputy general counsel, in a statementWe are deeply concerned by the FCC's assertion of broad authority for sweeping new regulation of broadband networks and the Internet itself.  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." .

As reported previously by TechZone360.com, over the last three years, major Internet companies like Google and Skype have continually asked the FCC to step in and create net neutrality rules that prohibit broadband companies from blocking IP-based phone calls, online video and other bandwidth-hungry web services. Phone and cable companies have routinely done this in the past to keep their network running at high-speeds and to eliminate access to services that compete with their day-to-day business.

As PC World noted, this pushback began gaining momentum in 2007, when Comcast was accused of blocking consumers from accessing certain peer-to-peer sites that tend to slow network speeds. The FCC’s new rules essentially bans companies like Comcast from blocking any legal sites or applications for any reason.

Tech giants including AT&T, Verizon and Comcast have long fought for their right to manage traffic as they see fit, and have remained opposed to regulating the Internet. These providers have said that they need to be able to police their own network and have asked the FCC to allow them to charge different rates for bandwidth consumption.

Want to learn more about how federal regulations are shaping and re-defining communications and information technology? Then be sure to attend the Regulatory 2.0 Workshop, collocated with TMC’s ITEXPO East, taking place Feb 2-4, 2011, in Miami. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has pursued the singular goal of ubiquitous broadband access to an open Internet. While some progress has been made, the most difficult decisions are ahead. What's the Commission to do? This program will examine the important issues facing the FCC including net neutrality, inter-carrier compensation and universal service reform, new CALEA legislation, next generation 911, additional spectrum for wireless broadband and the evolving role of state regulation. To register, click here.




Edited by Janice McDuffee

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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