Policy

Awaiting Virginia A.G.’s Lead on Net-Neutrality Rules

9/05/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

Washington — Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli
is reaching out to other state attorneys general
in preparation for a potential lawsuit against the Federal
Communications Commission’s changes to networkneutrality
rules.

Cuccinelli, a Republican, called the FCC’s December vote
to expand and codify its Internet-openness principles the
“most egregious of all violations of federal law,” and signaled
that in July or August he would “gather support from
other attorneys general and private partners for a lawsuit
against the Federal Communications Commission,” according
to a June interview with The Washington Times.

While declining to comment on whom, if anyone, Cuccinelli
had enlisted to join such a suit, a spokesman did
say the attorney general’s office had been asking around.
“We have been in discussions with other interested parties,”
Brian Gottstein, Cuccinelli’s director of communications,
told Multichannel News. He also suggested that the
attorney general might file a separate suit. “At the appropriate
time, we will make a decision of whether we should
proceed as a litigant in our own name or as an amicus.”

There is expected to be no shortage of parties looking to challenge
the rules. Verizon Communications already tried to file
suit back in January, unhappy with what the FCC called a compromise
and the industry suggested was the lesser of two evils.

The rules have yet to be formalized. In fact, the Office of
Management and Budget has not even finished its vetting of
the paperwork requirements of the new rules. “The information
collection is still under way,” an OMB spokesperson said.

After that, Cuccinelli and others can sue. But the rules
still don’t go into effect until 60 days after that OMB decision,
assuming it finds nothing over burdensome in the
new paperwork requirements.

September