January 21, 2011, 1:48 PM — Verizon sued the FCC today, asking a U.S. District Court to overturn a set of net neutrality rules the FCC created by taking the overly lax suggested outlines handed in by Verizon and other carriers and running them through a photocopier.
Forget for a moment whether it's really kosher to take rules written by the companies you're supposed to regulate and pass them off as your own, and the overwhelming tendency of the FCC to protect the carriers at the expense of their customers and all you're left with is astonishment.
That's all most of us are left with; Verizon still has some outrage left.
Not only is Verizon not satisfied treating the FCC like a bully treats a nerd with lunch money, it wants to formalize the relationship.
In the suit, Verizon is asking the U.S. District Court in D.C. to reprise its 2010 decision that the FCC doesn't have the authority to keep Comcast from blocking or slowing Internet traffic from its competitors.
The court said FCC can't do anything to stop Comcast even though the main target of the throttling was Netflix, a direct competitor to Comcast's movie business and the overwhelming best interest of customers of both companies to be able to get unfettered access to both services.
Nope, the court said. FCC doesn't get to tell the bullies 'No,' let alone learn how to hit back.
Which explains a little about why the net-neutrality rules process turned into such a fawning celebration of the challenges the carriers face. As if they need subsidies to help upgrade their networks fast enough to meet the service-level promises they've already made and deliver new services that would not only bring in new revenue, but give them an excuse to increase the cost of even basic services.
Verizon is so intent on its right to push the FCC around that it's not even satisfied that the agency barely stuck its head out from under the desk where it hides to shout out a few rules that preserved the rights of the carriers.