Public Interest Groups File Motion to Intervene in Verizon, MetroPCS Suits

Contact Info: 

Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35

WASHINGTON -- On Tuesday, Free Press, Media Access Project, Media Mobilizing Project, Access Humboldt and Mountain Area Information Network filed motions to intervene in the Verizon and MetroPCS appeals of the Federal Communications Commission’s open Internet order.

Free Press, representing itself in the matter, believes that the FCC’s order failed to adequately protect the open Internet. However, it also believes that the Verizon and MetroPCS suits were improperly brought, and is preserving its right to make arguments in both matters.

“We hope the DC Circuit recognizes that the companies’ suits are brought improperly and dismisses them, but we’re filing today to preserve our rights to challenge the appeals if they’re not dismissed outright,” said Aparna Sridhar, Free Press policy counsel. “We don’t believe the FCC’s order goes far enough to protect free speech online, but Verizon’s and MetroPCS's efforts to ensure that the FCC has no role in protecting Internet users in the broadband marketplace are self-serving and dangerous.”

Verizon and MetroPCS filed their challenges based on a theory usually reserved for challenging individual license applications, grants, denials or modifications. The open Internet order, by contrast, adopted rules that apply across the industry, including to wireline providers that do not require spectrum licenses to operate their networks.

"This is a sideshow. Verizon adopted a bizarre legal theory to obtain a tactical legal advantage,” said Andrew Jay Schwartzman, senior vice president and policy director of Media Access Project and counsel to Access Humboldt, Media Mobilizing Project and the Mountain Area Information Network. “We are confident that the D.C. Circuit will dismiss this appeal in short order."

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