Less than a month after the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Net Neutrality order, Verizon has filed an appeal in federal court challenging the order.
“We are deeply concerned by the FCC’s assertion of broad authority for sweeping new regulation of broadband networks and the Internet itself,” said Michael E. Glover, Verizon senior vice president and deputy general counsel in a statement.
Before the FCC adopted the Net Neutrality order, also known as the Open Internet order, some people questioned whether the commission had the authority to make that move. Accordingly, the FCC devoted a significant portion of the order to explaining why it believes it has appropriate authority. One of the arguments the FCC made referenced a portion of the Communications Act that gives the commission the authority to license spectrum used to provide fixed and mobile wireless services and which also notes that licensees must be subject to terms that serve the public interest.
“The open Internet conditions . . . are necessary to advance the public interest in innovation and investment,” the FCC said in a summary of the order at the time it was adopted. Verizon’s challenge aims to turn the FCC’s reasoning back on itself. “Verizon . . holds licenses that were modified by the order,” Verizon wrote in its notice of appeal. “Verizon thus is aggrieved by the order and possesses the standing to challenge it.”
In the notice, Verizon also argues that the FCC’s action is “arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure Act” and that it is “contrary to constitutional right.”