The company loves the open Internet, it says, just so long as no one can, well, enforce that openness. Verizon's deputy general counsel said in a statement today that "Verizon has long been committed to preserving an open Internet and meeting the needs of our customers... [But] 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."
The lead attorney on the case is Helgi Walker of major DC tech law firm Wiley Rein. If the name sounds familiar, it should; Walker previously worked on the Comcast lawsuit against the FCC, the one in which the cable giant argued that even the FCC attempt to have it stop mucking about with P2P transfers was illegal.
Comcast famously won that case in early 2010, throwing into confusion the FCC's entire legal argument for net neutrality. Walker is now making the same arguments to the court, but this time for Verizon.
"In Comcast," she points out, "this Court previously held that the FCC had failed to justify its exercise of authority over the broadband Internet access service at issue in that case." Now the FCC "again attempts to justify its assertion of regulatory authority" with a new set of open Internet rules approved on December 23-but Walker says they suffer from the same lack of authority that doomed the FCC in the Comcast case.
Verizon wants the entire net neutrality order tossed by the appellate court.