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Report: D.C. Court Offers Verizon Best Shot At Overturning Net Neutrality Rules Report: D.C. Court Offers Verizon Best Shot At Overturning Net Neutral...

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Congress / TECHNOLOGY

Report: D.C. Court Offers Verizon Best Shot At Overturning Net Neutrality Rules

A pedestrian walks past a Verizon Wireless store January 26, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois.(Getty Images)

January 21, 2011

An analysis by a top investment firm says D.C.'s Circuit Court of Appeals could make Verizon's challenge to new net neutrality rules an "uphill" battle for federal officials defending the regulations.

In a report by the firm Stifel Nicolaus, analysts say Verizon is going out of its way to recreate the conditions that led the court to shoot down the Federal Communications Commission's attempt to regulate Comcast's broadband Internet access.

While Verizon's decision to challenge the FCC's rules came as no big surprise given the company's vocal opposition, the report said "the procedural mechanism Verizon used is more noteworthy because it gives Verizon another argument for having the case heard by the D.C. Circuit, which should increase Verizon's chance of overturning the FCC order." Not only is Verizon seeking the same venue as the Comcast case, the company's lawyers are asking for the same three-judge panel that ruled against the FCC in that case.

The analysts went on to say that net neutrality advocates will likely try to get the case moved to a different court.

Lawmakers, meanwhile, continued to weigh in on Verizon's lawsuit.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, released a statement calling on the FCC to enforce its rules.

"Verizon has the legal right to do this, but we are disappointed that they filed suit," they wrote. "We support the FCC's efforts because they will protect consumers and provide companies with the certainty they need to make investments in our growing digital economy."

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