updated 04:50 pm EST, Fri January 28, 2011
FCC hopes to dismiss net neutrality charges
The FCC on Friday filed motions to dismiss attempts by MetroPCS and Verizon to overturn net neutrality rules. An agency official told Reuters the two had been caught on a technicality as both had appealed the net neutrality order too early. The rules for when to challenge were "clear" and had to take place in the first 60 days after the order appeared in the Federal Register, the government agent said.
Verizon had already responded and said it would answer back soon enough, likely to refile once the order was in the Register. MetroPCS was aware of the response but didn't have a statement of its own.
The carriers have both claimed that the FCC overstepped its bounds with the new rules, which on wireless require allowing any legal app and traffic and also require transparency on any throttling or other network management techniques. Verizon has tried to argue that preventing the regulation would preserve an open Internet but hasn't explained how getting permission to ban legal apps would solve this.
Supporters of the rule have noted that they more likely wanted to reserve the right to ban apps and traffic that were competitive with their own businesses. MetroPCS went so far as to make its case even as it was directly violating the rules by blocking Skype and charging extra to access Netflix. Verizon also blocks Skype on its 3G network, but at CES it said it would allow the VoIP app to work at its full potential on 4G with a future update to Skype Mobile.