Verizon, MetroPCS Ask Court for Time to Amend Net Neutrality Briefs

Say Time Needed beyond Dec. 6 Deadline to Incorporate Court's Ruling on Data Roaming

Verizon and MetroPCS have asked for more time and space from a federal court to make their case against the FCC's network neutrality rules.

That was prompted by the decision of that same court Monday in Verizon's challenge to the FCC's data roaming rules Cellco Partnership [Verizon] v. FCC.

In a motion filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on 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).

They point out that the roaming case, in which the court upheld the FCC's application of voice roaming obligations to data, deals with similar issues and was released only two days before the Dec. 6 deadline.

"Among other things, Cellco Partnership addresses the meaning of the Communications Act's bans on common carriage regulation," they point out.

"Appellants believe in good faith that they need a brief period of additional time and a modest amount of additional words in order properly to analyze and address the effect of Cellco Partnership on the arguments in their reply briefs and ultimately on the case, so as to provide the Court with a consolidated analysis of the issues that avoids piecemeal briefing."

The companies asked for an expedited ruling given that the deadline is Thursday, Dec. 6, and added that if the court can't decide by then, it should suspend the Dec.6 deadline until it does rule on the request. The court has yet to set a date for oral argument.