The U.S. Court of Appeals today denied Verizon’s motion to have the same three judges who ruled against the FCC in an earlier network neutrality case hear Verizon’s current attempt to contest regulatory agency’s network neutrality rules. However, Verizon (s vz), which filed its lawsuit on Jan. 20, still has an advantage because it filed so quickly. In fact, the FCC has argued that it filed too quickly.
Essentially, Verizon is contesting the FCC’s authority to issue rules that prohibit ISPs from discriminating against traffic running over the networks. The FCC submitted its rule at the end of December, and lawsuits were expected. However, Verizon filed before the rules were even published in the Federal Register,catching the FCC and pro-net neutrality groups off guard. As I wrote in an earlier story, Verizon hoped to have the same judges who ruled the FCC has no authority to dictate what ISPs can do with traffic flowing across their broadband networks. That hope is now quashed, but Verizon assuredly has other legal arguments and tricks up its sleeve.
So now, we wait to see which court will actually hear the case, while at least assured that the exact same people who dealt the FCC such a mortal blow with regard to network neutrality won’t hear this one.
Related GigaOM Pro Content (sub req’d):