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After facing massive customer pushback and sharp regulatory scrutiny on its plan to force Fire Island residents to take Voice Link as a substitute for the copper network destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, Verizon agrees to bring FIOS to Fire Island.
Back in May, Verizon announced it would replace the copper phone network on Fire Island destroyed by Hurricane Sandy with their new “Voice Link” service. From the beginning,we expressed grave concerns with forcing storm victims to take an unproven technology in place of the traditional copper-line phone and DSL broadband they had before Sandy struck. Worse, Verizon warned Voice Link callers might not reliably reach 9-1-1, that fax machines, medical devices, and security systems might not work with Voice Link, and that customers would have to switch to much higher-priced mobile broadband plans to keep their Internet access.
According to Verizon, the FCC's Open Internet Rules are the only thing preventing ISPs from becoming gatekeepers for the internet. For background on yesterday's hearing, start here, for a summary of the arguments go here, and for a timeline of net neutrality, click here.
Yesterday Verizon explained, in the simplest terms possible, why net neutrality rules are so important: the rules are the only thing preventing ISPs from turning the internet into cable TV.
Today, Verizon and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had an oral argument before the D.C. Circuit Court debating the network neutrality rules. The argument took place before Judge Rogers, Judge Tatel, and Senior Judge Silberman (“senior” means “technically retired but still hearing cases when I feel like it”). You can listen to the 2+ hour oral argument I sat through this morning here.
On today's podcast we discuss net neutrality in anticipation of Monday's oral argument before the D.C. Circuit. What is it, what are the rules, and what is being argued.Listen to Podcast
Before next week's oral argument on the FCC’s Open Internet rules we discuss why the FCC has the Authority to Make Network Neutrality Rules and what could get in the way.
On Tuesday, Michael Weinberg wrote about why we at PK think network neutrality is important, and Sherwin Siy explained the actual net neutrality rules the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted. None of this, however, will get debated in the courtroom on Monday September 9 when the oral argument finally happens – at least not officially.
In theory, the reviewing court will focus on two things. Did the FCC have the authority to make the net neutrality rules? And, even if the FCC does have the authority, does something else prohibit the FCC from exercising that authority here?
I say in theory because judges have their own opinions and the D.C. Circuit is particularly famous for its high level of judicial activism. But judges can’t come out and say “well, even though the FCC has authority to do this, we think it’s a bad rule so too damn bad!” That wins you a quick trip to the Supreme Court, which just last term reminded lower courts they are supposed to respect the FCC’s authority and defer to its expert judgment. So while policy arguments may lurk in the background, here’s what everyone will actually be talking about in the courtroom.
Taking a closer look at the FCC's Net Neutrality Rules.
Yesterday, Michael wrote about the importance of net neutrality, and what's at stake in the court case that will be argued next Monday. Today, I'd like to take a closer look at the source of the court case that's going to be argued next Monday: the FCC's net neutrality rules that Verizon is suing to overturn.
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