In documents filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C., lawyers for the Federal Communications Commission call the lawsuit by Verizon and MetroPCS "fatally premature" and argue that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case.
The FCC asked the court to dismiss the challenge because it was filed before the net neutrality rules were published in the Federal Register, according to the documents.
"The rules that govern when and how parties may challenge FCC orders are clear, and Verizon and MetroPCS filed too early when they challenged the Open Internet order," a senior FCC official said Friday afternoon.
In a statement at the time Verizon filed its lawsuit, the company's senior vice president and deputy general counsel Michael Glover said "We are deeply concerned by the FCC's assertion of broad authority for sweeping new regulation of broadband networks and the Internet itself."
When it joined Verizon in challenging the new rules, MetroPCS also disputed the FCC's authority to enact such regulations.
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