D.C. district court to hear challenge to new FCC net neutrality rules

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. District will hear a challenge to the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules due to take effect in November.

A judicial panel Oct. 6 said it settled on the D.C. District Court to hear the challenge in a random selection process. The same court tossed the commission's net neutrality principles in the Comcast case in April 2010.

In December of that year, the FCC adopted an order establishing a rule that prevents carriers from discriminating on Internet transmission speed, disallows blocking of lawful traffic from competitor and requires them to be more transparent about their network management practices.

In July, Verizon filed a challenge in the D.C. Circuit, but was rebuffed by the court, which said the challenge was premature. In its new challenge, the company said the agency overstepped its authority in establishing the new rules.

Suits filed by public interest group Free Press and others argue the rules are not strong enough. Free Press, which filed its challenge Sept. 28, said in a statement posted on its website that the FCC's net neutrality rules don't "deliver on the promise to preserve openness for mobile Internet access."

The new rules "fail to protect wireless users from discrimination," the statement said, "and they let mobile providers block innovative applications with impunity."

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.