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Verizon, MetroPCS push back on FCC's net neutrality rules

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Verizon logo (STOCK)
Verizon logo (STOCK)

Verizon Wireless and MetroPCS have filed a joint appeal against a court decision concerning the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules that took effect in December of last year. The court had ruled in favor of the FCC, despite the complaints levied against it in Verizon and MetroPCS' lawsuit. The carriers contend that the FCC is over stepping its bounds with the regulation, which is designed to prevent network operators from controlling traffic to apps, services, and other functions on an individual basis.

Verizon and MetroPCS make four main complaints against the FCC: the existing Telecommunications Act prevents the FCC from applying regulation to broadband access, which these rules allegedly allow; the FCC doesn't have the authority to enact these rules; the order itself violates the first and fifth amendments; and that the rules are arbitrary and capricious.

The FCC has had very limited control over wireless networks in the US, which is a stark difference to how landline networks are handled. Wireless networks have largely been exempt from net neutrality regulations since the operators claim that the laws would prevent them from properly managing traffic on the networks and prioritizing important services like phone calls. The rules enacted in December, 2011 are rather limited in their scope, but apparently they are restricting enough to cause uproar from Verizon and MetroPCS.