The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Monday granted a motion by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to dismiss a challenge to the new net neutrality rules. Verizon and MetroPCS filed an appeal challenging the new net neutrality rules that allow the government to regulate Internet traffic to preserve the Internet as a free and open platform of communication. The court dismissed the appeal for improper timing because the challenged rulemaking document has yet to be published in the Federal Register and is not a licensing decision with respect to the specific parties as required by 47 CFR § 1.4(b)(1). The court said it would be subject to judicial review once it is published in the Federal Register. Verizon spokesperson Ed McFadden said that the notices of appeal were filed because the FCC's rules governing timing of appeals were unclear and the company did not want to lose its right to appeal. Verizon plans to file a second appeal when the rules are published in the Federal Register.
Verizon and MetroPCS filed the challenges in January out of concern over the broad authority the new rules would grant the FCC. The FCC has long been trying to exert more control over Internet regulation. Last year, US Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) introduced legislation intended to block the FCC from implementing its National Broadband Plan. The Freedom for Consumer Choice Act would remove the FCC's ability to declare the actions of a communications provider illegal unless there was a clear showing that the practice causes harm to consumers and will not be corrected by market forces. A month earlier, the FCC opened a new proceeding to identify the legal approach that will best support its efforts to develop universal access to "high quality" Internet broadband services. A previous court ruling found that the FCC lacks the power to enforce net neutrality. Net neutrality is thought by supporters to be essential to the goal of an open flow of information over the Internet regardless of the amount of revenue generated by the information.Of course DeMint tried to undermine the FCC's authority, I would expect nothing less from that corporate lackey.
Personal update...still tryng to rehab ye olde back after my surgery two weeks ago. I am not spending much time online as sitting is the worst possible thing for my spine, according to my Doc and my back also lets me know it too. As a lovely parting gift I now have an 8 inch scar up my back and wearing that friggin huge back brace (for 3 months) is no picnic.