Verizon sues FCC on data-roaming rule

Verizon Wireless sued the Federal Communications Commission to overturn a recent data-roaming rule, saying the agency overstepped its jurisdiction with the order.

The wireless giant filed its appeal last Friday to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the same court where it filed a lawsuit to overturn the FCC’s so-called net neutrality rules. The court overturned Verizon’s appeal in that case mostly on a technicality — the FCC hadn’t put the rules in the national Federal Register, a step necessary before appeals can be fought.

Verizon noted in its data-roaming appeal, that the FCC rules were implemented in the Federal Register on May 6. The data-roaming rules, passed last April, force national carriers such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T to allow regional wireless customers to roam on their networks.

And it argued that the same court in early 2010 said the FCC in a legal battle with Comcast, exceeded its authority as a regulatory of broadband Internet services when it sanctioned the cable giant for blocking Internet traffic.

That same reasoning has been used by Verizon and AT&T to argue against rules that apply to their broadband Internet businesses.

The FCC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cecilia Kang is a senior technology correspondent for The Washington Post.

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