Verizon: Let Us Count the Ways FCC Is Wrong on Open Internet

Files Latest Brief in Challenge to Net Neutrality Rules

In the latest volley in its attack on the FCC's network neutrality order, Verizon essentially counts all the ways it says the FCC got it wrong in its defense of the rules, including what it says is the FCC's first claim that it has the direct authority to regulate the Internet.

That came in Verizon's reply brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Verizon, responding to the FCC's brief defending the decision, said: (1) The FCC's reasoning that the order "escapes" a statutory ban on common carrier regs is wrong and flatly conflicts with existing doctrine; (2) the commission relies on "far too slender a thread" to support its claim of Internet regulatory authority; (3) contrary to the FCC's assertion, broadband providers are speakers, whose speech the FCC has curtailed without justification; and (4) the order is arbitrary and capricious because there is no record of abuse.

Verizon also echoes an issue being raised in a separate case, the Supreme Court challenge to the FCC's authority to preempt state and local tower citing regs. "As an initial matter, the FCC should not receive deference when opining on the existence and scope of its statutory authority," Verizon said in the brief.

That Supreme Court case could decide whether an appeals court should give so-called Chevron deference (deference to an agencies special subject-matter expertise) to an agency's decision about the limits of its own authority. Verizon thinks it shouldn't, and argued that in a brief in the High Court this week.

The reply filing was actually a joint one with MetroPCS, which is also challenging the rules. Date for oral argument in the case has not yet been set.