Lawyers for Verizon today fired back at federal communications regulators, arguing in a Washington appeals court that the company's suit challenging newly promulgated Internet access rules is viable and should not be dismissed.
Verizon's attorneys, including Wiley Rein partner Helgi Walker, filed court papers this morning in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit urging the court not to dismiss the company’s appeal. The litigation is focused on new Federal Communications Commission regulations governing how fixed and wireless Internet service providers control network access.
The filing [.pdf] responds to the FCC's submission Friday that asked the appeals court to throw out the challenge on procedural grounds. FCC lawyers argue, among other things, Verizon’s appeal is premature since the order establishing new Internet access regulations hasn’t been published in the Federal Register.
Lawyers for Verizon today said the company’s challenge of the FCC regulations was properly filed within a 30-day window after the release of the order.
Wiley Rein’s Walker, co-chair of the firm’s appellate practice, said the commission’s order modified licenses held by mobile broadband providers in a manner that gives Verizon and other companies the right to appeal before publication of the rules in the Federal Register.
Attorneys for Verizon also said the FCC has “historically and aggressively” sought dismissal of appeals that were not filed within 30 days of an order’s release date. The FCC controls when an order will be published in the Federal Register.
“Had Verizon incorrectly assumed that the thirty-day period ran from Federal Register publication and not the release date, the FCC might well have argued for dismissal of Verizon’s appeal as forever barred because it was too late,” Verizon’s lawyers said in the court papers filed today.