Verizon And AT&T Lead Legal Challenge To FCC's Net Neutrality Ruling

Leading up to the FCC's approval of net neutrality rules last month, it had been clear that companies opposing the move wouldn't be resting on their laurels for too long afterwards. In particular, AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson said that there 'will be litigation', and as it happens, he meant it.

Randall Stephenson
AT&T's Randall Stephenson; Flickr: Dan Farber

Yesterday, trade group USTelecom, of which AT&T and Verizon are members, issued a petition to the US Court of Appeals to help thwart net neutrality rules from becoming active (which is set to happen 60 days after the FCC ruling). In the petition, USTelecom stresses that the FCC could have been overstepping its bounds with this move, going as far to seek out whether or not it also violated federal law, the Constitution, and / or the Communications Act of 1934 - the latter of which I can't imagine would represent the modern telecommunications landscape too well.

The petition goes on to state that it was filed "out of an abundance of caution", and it'd be the group's hope that the new rulings wouldn't come into effect on the original timetable until details are sorted out.

It's not clear how long it will take before we learn of the result of this petition, but given the fact that net neutrality is set to go into effect in about a month-and-a-half, I can't imagine this will be left to sit for too long. Will USTelecom's attempt at thwarting the FCC ruling prove fruitful? Let's hope not.