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FCC Asks Court to Deny One of Two Verizon Network Neutrality Appeals

The FCC has asked the court to deny one of Verizon's two appeals of its network neutrality rules, specifically the one that would require the case to be heard in the D.C. circuit.

In an "abundance of caution," Verizon filed both an appeal of the FCC's network neutrality rules order and a petition for review of the decision as a transfer of license.

The FCC, in a motion to dismiss files with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit, said that because the challenge did not modify radio license within the meaning of FCC rules, that review request should be dismissed. The FCC pointed out that even if Verizon did not hold licenses, it would have been subject to the order.

If the court accepted Verizon's license challenge appeal, the case would have to stay in the D.C. Circuit, which Verizon would prefer. The general rule order appeal, which the FCC says was the appropriate avenue of appeal, could be heard in another circuit. There have been challenges to the FCC's network neutrality rule order in a number of different circuits, with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation then making the call on which circuit the appeal will be heard in.

Verizon tried early in the process to appeal on the grounds that the decision was a license modification, an appeal that did not have to wait for the publication of the rules in the Federal Register two weeks ago, but the court dismissed that appeal as premature.