MetroPCS Files Challenge to Net Neutrality Rules

Verizon will have some company in its bid to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules. On Monday, MetroPCS, the Dallas-based wireless service provider, filed a court challenge of its own.
Two weeks after the FCC passed its Open Internet order, MetroPCS’ new pricing tiers caught the attention of public interest groups, which accused the wireless service of running afoul of the FCC’s new rules and called for an investigation.
Before the FCC has even filed its order in the Federal Register and before the FCC could take up any investigation of MetroPCS, Verizon, and now MetroPCS, filed in court.
The FCC’s rules could have a tough time standing up in court. Both Verizon and MetroPCS filed with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the same court that struck down the FCC’s authority to regulate the Internet in the case between Comcast and BitTorrent last year.
“While the FCC wrote [in to] its Open Internet order legal justifications that try to address the D.C. Circuit’s objections in the Comcast/BitTorrent ruling, we continue to believe it’ll have a harder time making its case before that court, particularly if it’s heard by the same three-judge panel that last year rejected the commission’s statutory justifications in the related Comcast/BitTorrent ruling,” Stifel Nicolaus analysts Rebecca Arbogast and David Kaut wrote in a report.
If the court doesn’t slap down the FCC, congressional Republicans are waiting in the wings to challenge the commission’s authority to impose regulations on the Internet.