Verizon confirms it will appeal newly published Net Neutrality rules soon
Long-awaited rule publication makes carrier's appeal possible; 155-page rules offer few surprises
Nine months after the FCC adopted its Open Internet order (CP: FCC adopts Net Neutrality guidelines in opposition to service providers), the long-awaited Net Neutrality guidelines, weighing in at 155 pages, have finally been published in the Federal Register—and a Verizon spokesman told Connected Planet this morning that the company still intends to file an appeal. By law, he said that action would need to occur within the next few days.
The carrier attempted to appeal the guidelines with the District of Columbia Circuit Court shortly after the FCC adopted them but was told it had to wait until the rules were published (unfiltered: Court (for the moment) dismisses anti-Net Neutrality challenges). At the time there was widespread speculation that Verizon attempted to file so early because it wanted the appeal to go to the District of Columbia Circuit Court, which was expected to be sympathetic toward the carrier. Asked whether the carrier planned to file again with the same court, the spokesman said, “I think the process will be the same.”
Connected Planet’s scan through the 155-page Net Neutrality rule document uncovered few surprises. The FCC devoted nearly 30 pages to explaining why it believes the rules are necessary and another 25 pages to explaining why it believes it has the authority to make the rules, with only about 45 pages dedicated to the actual rules, which it said will go into effect November 20.
The FCC highlighted a total of four rules, which specify that:
-- A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service shall publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services sufficient for consumers to make informed choice regarding use of such services and for content, application, service and device providers to develop, market and maintain Internet offerings
-- A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service . . . shall not block lawful content, applications, services or non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management.
-- A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service . . . shall not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic over a consumer’s broadband Internet access service.
-- A person engaged in the provision of mobile broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block consumers from accessing lawful websites, subject to reasonable network management; nor shall such person block applications that compete with the provider’s voice or video telephony services, subject to reasonable network management.
A network management practice is “reasonable,” the FCC said, if “it is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband Internet access service.”
Service providers seeking to comply with the rules will likely find it more useful to reference a six-page document that the FCC issued back in July advising service providers about how to meet the requirements (unfiltered: FCC offers advice on Net Neutrality compliance).
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