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Verizon gears up to fight FCC — again — on Internet control

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Verizon is launching another fight with the Federal Communications Commission over what it sees as an Internet freedom crackdown — new rules aligned with net neutrality ideals that the company says actually dampen innovation.

The company already won one round over net neutrality rules. But the issue's far from ended, and the FCC has a reworked policy in the process. So on Monday, the company penned a 12-page letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, arguing that the agency ought to wait and see if problems develop that justify a federal regulation of the Internet — rather than take preemptive actions for issues that don't even exist, the New York Post reported.

"No problems threatening competition or consumers' enjoyment of the Open Internet have emerged," Verizon wrote, adding that the FCC should hold back and see if "actual problems develop before promulgating rules that could flash freeze innovation. Such actions will do far more benefit to consumers than another prolonged struggle over net neutrality rules."

Net neutrality is billed as a way to ensure that the Internet is open and accessible to all parties. But critics say it actually works as a possible block for content that the government finds objectionable.

Verizon has already sued the FCC over its net neutrality rules. In January, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia tossed out the agency's policy on Internet fairness, saying in part of its 63-page ruling that the FCC failed to distinguish between anti-discrimination and anti-blocking measures, The New York Post reported.

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