Feeds

US court boots and moots Verizon net neut suit

Open internet squabble postponed. Again

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Verizon's lawsuit against a US Federal Communications Commission order that imposes network-neutrality rules has been tossed out of court by a three-judge panel who deemed the suit premature.

"Regardless of whether the order is reviewable by way of a petition for review, 47 U.S.C. § 402(a), or a notice of appeal, 47 U.S.C. § 402(b), the prematurity is incurable," wrote judges Henderson, Tatel, and Kavanaugh of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

The lawsuit that is now "dismissed as moot," in the words of the court's Monday ruling, was filed by Verizon on January 20 in response to the FCC's vote last December 21 on a cluster of regulations designed to ensure that vaporous concept known as network neutrality.

Among the stipulations in the FCC's order were rulings that both wireline and wireless carriers must be "transparent" in their network-management practices, that wireline providers could "not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices", and that wireless providers couldn't block apps that compete with their voice or video telephony services.

Verizon was of the opinion that the order overstepped the FCC's regulatory mandate. In its January filing, the telecom giant's lawyers wrote: "Verizon seeks relief on the grounds that the Order: (1) is in excess of the Commission’s statutory authority; (2) is arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure Act; (3) is contrary to constitutional right; and (4) is otherwise contrary to law."

"Not so fast," said the DC court on Monday, in so many words. Since the FCC ruling hasn't been officially published in the Federal Rgister, the lawsuit's "prematurity is incurable". The court apparently wasn't swayed by Verizon's argument in its January 20 filing that it was protesting the ruling in an "abundance of caution".

Monday's ruling – although certain to please net-neut fans – is far from conclusive. It merely means that lawsuits have been kicked down the road until the order is official – and with some virulent critics of the FCC's action having compared it to "George Orwell's 1984, complete with doublethink and newspeak," you can be certain that when the appropriate time comes, the courts will be clogged with challenges. ®

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.