Verizon challenges FCC's net neutrality rules

Verizon Chairman and Chief Operating Officer Ivan Seidenberg gives his keynote address on the first day of the Consumer Electronics Show, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
January 20, 2011 2:09:59 PM PST
Verizon Communications Inc. on Thursday filed a legal challenge to new federal regulations that prohibit broadband providers from interfering with Internet traffic flowing over their networks.

In a filing in federal appeals court in the District of Columbia, Verizon argues that the Federal Communications Commission overstepped its authority in adopting the new "network neutrality" rules last month.

The rules prohibit phone and cable companies from favoring or discriminating against Internet content and services - including online calling services such as Skype and Internet video services such as Netflix, which in many cases compete with services sold by companies like Verizon.

The FCC's three Democrats adopted the rules over the opposition of the agency's two Republicans just before Christmas. Republicans in Congress, who now control the House, have vowed to try to block them from taking effect. They argue that the rules amount to unnecessary regulation that will discourage the phone and cable companies from investing in their networks.

The new rules give providers some leeway to manage their networks to deal with congestion and unwanted traffic, including spam, as long as they publicly disclose their practices.


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