FCC and Verizon Fight Over Net Neutrality Court Case Starts Today

Posted by at 10:18 am on September 9, 2013

Verizon Communications and the Federal Communications Commission will face off in court beginning today over the FCC’s net neutrality rules.

The FCC proposed rules concerning how internet traffic should be handled. Verizon contends that the FCC does not have the authority to enact such regulatory measures and that it should have greater control over its own network. The FCC’s rules, which went into effect in late 2011, say that most traffic (whether it be video, voice, or other) should be unmanaged except in rare cases wherein the network provider must do so to protect its network and assets.

Other carriers, such as MetroPCS, originally opposed the FCC’s rules, but most have dropped their official opposition, leaving Verizon to stand alone. In addition to the regulatory angle against the FCC, Verizon is also playing a First Amendment card. It suggests that “broadband providers possess editorial discretion” since they are responsible for transmitting the speech of others.

Opening arguments for the case are slotting to commend today. The trial, being heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, will likely take several weeks to unfold.

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