Telecom regulators submitted the net neutrality rules to the Register last week. And on Friday, the Register put the document out on what's called "public inspection" — a step that takes place one business day before they're published.
Beginning Monday, then, opponents of the net neutrality rule will have a small window in which to file a legal challenge to the Federal Communications Commission. Industry groups are widely expected to lead the assault against the rules, which seek to prevent Internet providers from unfairly speeding up or slowing down certain favored Web sites over others. Individual providers such as Comcast and Verizon are expected to take more of a backseat role in the looming litigation.
The trade groups will likely argue that the FCC didn't adequately notify the public about certain provisions of the rules, in a violation of federal process. Analysts also say the agency will be challenged on some of the substance of the rules, which seek to reclassify Internet providers as telecommunications providers rather than a lightly regulated "information service."
One trade group and a small, Texas-based Internet provider have already tried to sue — but those challenges haven't gone very far, as the regulations in question haven't yet been made public. All that will change next week.