Verizon sues FCC over net-neutrality rules

Just weeks after the Federal Communications Commission adopted its first-ever rules aimed at regulating Internet access, Verizon Communications on Thursday filed a federal lawsuit to overturn the controversial order.

Verizon argues that the FCC does not have the legal authority to mandate how Internet service providers treat content on their networks.

A legal challenge was widely expected, and the FCC has said it thinks Congress enabled the agency to pursue its rules under several interpretations of telecommunications laws. The FCC's rules are supported by consumer groups and Web giants such as Google and Facebook.

Verizon filed its case in the same federal court - the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia - that ruled last April that the FCC overstepped its authority in trying to sanction Comcast for blocking Web traffic.

"We are deeply concerned by the FCC's assertion of broad authority for sweeping new regulation of broadband networks and the Internet itself," said Michael E. Glover, Verizon's senior vice president and deputy general counsel. "We believe this assertion of authority goes well beyond any authority provided by Congress, and creates uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers."

Verizon's lead attorney for the suit is Helgi Walker, who successfully represented Comcast last spring. Verizon also asked to choose the judges who hear its case, an unusual move that telecom industry observers say is an attempt to get the same judges who earlier ruled against the FCC. Analysts said other companies are likely to file similar suits in other courts around the country.

Read the complete Washington Post story, "Verizon sues FCC over net-neutrality rules."

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