The FCC had contended that an attempt to take down the FCC’s network neutrality framework approved on a party-line vote last December was early, and the DC Circuit Court agreed. The challenge from Verizon and MetroPCS will come, just not now.
The reason the challenge was ruled premature was simple – the rules have not yet been published in the Federal Register. Such publication is necessary before something as simple as establishing comment and reply comment deadlines. Although the plaintiffs said their reading of the rules indicated their challenge was timely, the Court sided with the FCC.
According to a report in Hillicon Valley, at least one watchdog was happy with the ruling. Harold Feld of Public Knowledge said, “We are pleased that the court dismissed Verizon’s untimely and distracting challenge to the FCC’s net-neutrality order. Now we are confident the judicial system will deal with any and all appeals raised in an orderly and fair manner.”
The FCC was also happy with the outcome.
The challenging parties will be right back on the case just as soon as the rules allow.
The court ruling was strictly procedural, and did not address the substance of the challenge in any way.