Verizon Jumped the Gun on Net Neutrality Challenge, Court Says

Verizon was really eager to take the Federal Communications Commission to court over its new net neutrality rules. Maybe a little too eager. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed Verizon’s appeal on Monday, because the rules hadn’t yet been printed in the Federal Register when Verizon filed.

“Verizon tried to ‘game the system’ by attempting to challenge the FCC’s open Internet decision prior to its official release,” said Andrew Schwartzman, policy director of the Media Access Project, which supports the FCC’s new rules.

A Verizon spokesman called the dismissal a “technicality.” It will refile.

“The FCC’s rules for the filing period of an appeal to the December net neutrality order are unclear, and our filing in January was based on release of the net neutrality order in order to protect our rights; we intend to make a second filing when the order is published in the Federal Register,” Verizon said in a statement.

The court is the same one that last year ruled the FCC had no authority to regulate the Internet.

The net neutrality rules have been controversial since late last year, when the FCC passed them in a 3-2 party line vote. Since then, House Republicans have been working hard to overrule the commission. Two weeks ago, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed a resolution of disapproval that would overturn the rules; it could reach the House floor on Tuesday.

Publish date: April 4, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT