D.C. Federal Appeals Court Extends Comment Deadline in Net Neutrality Challenge

Grants Verizon/MetroPCS a Little More Time, Space to Make Case
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It looks like communications lawyers will be having a busy holiday season.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has granted Verizon and MetrocPCS' request for two more weeks beyond its previous Dec. 6 deadline to file reply briefs in their challenge to the FCC's open Internet order, as well as a few more words to make their case.

The court had already suspended the Jan. 6 deadline for the briefs after the companies said they needed time to digest and incorporate the court's decision earlier this week that the FCC was within its authority to extend voice roaming requirements to data roaming -- Verizon had challenged that decision as well.

In a motion filed with the court Wednesday, Verizon and MetroPCS asked for two more weeks from the current Dec. 6 deadline to file the latest briefs in their network neutrality challenge so they can incorporate this week's roaming decision into their filings, and for 1,000 additional words (the limit is 6,000) for their joint brief and 350 additional words for MetroPCS' separate filing (the limit is 2,000 words).

The court Friday said it would give them the few extra words and extend the deadline for the briefs to Dec. 21 and replies to those replies on Jan. 4, with final briefs Jan. 18. The court has yet to schedule oral argument.

Separately, the FCC has given commenters on its 323 ownership report until Dec. 26 and Jan. 4 to file comments.