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Markey: Verizon Trying to Unwind Consumer Safeguards

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) says Verizon is trying to unwind an FCC order "that provides safeguards for consumers and promotes investment and job creation."

He was referring to the telco's appeal this week of the FCC's Dec. 21 order expanding and codifying the FCC's network neutrality guidelines.

"In some areas, I felt the Order did not go far enough, but if it were overturned in its entirety, Internet users, entrepreneurs and our economy as a whole would be adversely affected," Markey said in a statement. Markey also took the opportunity to give the FCC a shout-out for including network neutrality conditions on the Comcast/NBCU deal.

Markey, former chairman of the House Communications Subcommittee, is not on the same page as the current chairman, Republican Greg Walden (R-Ore.), who praised the appeal and is concerned about the rules' impact on the economy. Walden is also no fan of the Comcast/NBCU conditions.

Verizon's challenge came as no surprise, a point Markey conceded. The telco was not supportive of the FCC's compromise rules, which got tepid applause from many industry players as at least preferable to tougher conditions under the chairman's Title II reclassification proposal.

Verizon explained its legal move this way: "We are deeply concerned by the FCC's assertion of broad authority for sweeping new regulation of broadband networks and the Internet itself.  We believe this assertion of authority goes well beyond any authority provided by Congress, and creates uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers."