Verizon’s fight to overturn the FCC’s net neutrality rules is on. The phone giant today asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. to step in and consider whether regulators have the right to set rules for the Internet. Verizon Deputy General Counsel Michael Glover says that the FCC’s “assertion of broad authority to impose potentially sweeping and unneeded regulations” on the Web is “inconsistent with the statute and will create uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers.” The FCC says the rules are needed to protect competition: They would bar most broadband providers from favoring their own services — for example, Comcast couldn’t transmit videos from Hulu faster than ones from, say, Netflix. “Ruling in Verizon’s favor would end the open Internet as we know it and leave companies like Verizon in charge of which sites and services work and which don’t,” says Matt Wood of consumer activist group Free Press — which just filed its own appeal to make the rules tougher.
Verizon’s challenge was expected: It tried early this year to have the net neutrality rules shot down but the court said the effort was premature since they hadn’t been formalized yet. That changed last week when the FCC put the regulations into the Federal Register.