Comcast Sues FCC Over Net Neutrality

You didn't seriously think Comcast would roll over without a fight, did you? It was only a matter of time after FCC's decision in early August, before Comcast took some legal action. And here we are.

Last month, the FCC voted 3-2 to declare that Comcast's throttling of BitTorrent P2P traffic last year was illegal. At that time the FCC ordered Comcast to not just stop blocking P2P traffic, but also to provide more details of its network management policies within 30 days.

According to the Wall Street Journal (paid subscription required), Comcast on Thursday filed suit to overturn the ruling. At the same time, despite this, Comcast indicated it will continue to abide by the earlier FCC order, including the policy information mentioned above. Comcast executive vice president David L. Cohen said (in a written statement):
"We filed this appeal in order to protect our legal rights and to challenge the basis on which the [FCC] found that Comcast violated federal policy in the absence of pre-existing legally enforceable standards or rules Although the company recognizes the FCC's jurisdiction over Internet service providers, Comcast believes in this case the FCC's action 'was legally inappropriate and its findings were not justified by the record.'"
Besides the obvious "huh?," what does all this mean? Well, it seems that earlier Comcast had argued that the FCC has authority to bring enforcement actions under rules, not principles. The above language is stating that "net neutrality" is not a pre-existing rule, but instead a principle, and thus, unenforceable by the FCC.

Why bother, if Comcast is going to abide by the decision? The ruling sets a dangerous (to ISPs) precedent, and that what they wiped from the books.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.