Verizon’s Anti-Net Neutrality Lawsuit Defeated… For Now

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Due to a technicality, Verizon’s attempt to sue the Federal Communications Commission over net neutrality regulations will have to wait.

The FCC voted in favor of net neutrality regulations last December. The rules prohibit wired broadband providers from blocking lawful uses of the Internet or discriminating against individual types of traffic. Wireless carriers are prohibited from blocking websites that compete with their own services, and all broadband providers must disclose their network management policies. Verizon and small wireless carrier MetroPCS appealed the decision in January, arguing that this kind of regulation is best left up to Congress.

Now, the U.S. Court of Appeals has dismissed both cases, Ars Technica reports, but not because of their substantive claims. In going straight to the appeals court, Verizon and MetroPCS tried to argue that the rules were technically a modification of the companies’ existing spectrum licenses, and therefore up for appeal rather than a direct challenge to the rulemaking process. The court didn’t like that argument, so now Verizon and Metro PCS must go the traditional route and challenge the rulemaking directly. They can’t do so until the regulations are officially published in the Federal Register, and that hasn’t happened yet.

The short, jargon-free version: Verizon and MetroPCS tried to jump the gun with their net neutrality lawsuits and got shot down, but the actual battle over net neutrality is far from finished.