FCC says net neutrality lawsuits premature

FCC-buildingA couple weeks ago Verizon filed suit against the FCC, claiming that the agency was overstepping its authority with new net neutrality regulations (known as the Open Internet Order), and that the rules create “uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors, and consumers.” (A few days later, MetroPCS—itself already on the hook for potentially breaching those rules—joined the suit.) Now, the FCC is asking a Washington D.C. court of appeals to dismiss Verizon’s lawsuit for being “fatally premature” (PDF) because the Open Internet Order has not been published in the Federal Register. The FCC’s argument is that, until the rule is published in the Federal Register, it’s not official, and no one has any grounds to sue over it.

Of course, Verizon and MetroPCS could simply withdraw their current suits, wait for a bit, and re-file once the Federal Register effectively gives courts jurisdiction over the matter. However, Verizon is casting its suit as a licensing dispute, since the new regulations impact wireless licenses owned by the company. Under other federal regulations, courts gain jurisdiction in frequency licensing disputes as soon as they’re made public: the FCC released its Open Internet Order on December 23, 2010.

Another angle to the legal maneuvering: if an FCC order is challenged in multiple courts of appeals within ten days of public notice being given, the cases are assigned to a single appeals court through a judicial lottery. However, in the case of licensing disputes, cases are heard exclusively by the Washington D.C., court of appeals—and the rules are mutually exclusive, meaning the D.C. court can’t get jurisdiction of both a licensing dispute and an appeal on the same matter filed in another jurisdiction. The FCC argues that the D.C. court should dismiss Verizon’s action because, once the new rules are published in the Federal Register, there might be challenges in other jurisdiction that would be preempted by Verizon’s appeal to the D.C. court, effectively mandating the venue for those disputes.

Verizon has good reason to want its case heard by the Washington D.C. court of appeals: it’s the same three-judge panel that ruled against the FCC in favor of Comcast over blocking peer-to-peer services, effectively setting the current juggernaut over net neutrality in motion. Verizon has even hired the same attorney who handed the case for Comcast.


Microsoft turns on the lights with a new white theme in Windows 10 update

Microsoft is introducing a new light theme in the upcoming version of Windows 10 and is currently beta testing the change with Windows Insiders. The clean-looking theme brings a much-needed facelift to Windows.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Want to use one drive between a Mac and Windows PC? Partitions are your best bet

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.

Four Andromeda-related Microsoft patents hint at new ways to use the device

Andromeda might be getting even more real as four Microsoft patents have surfaced recently, all of which hint at possible new use cases and other new configurations for the device. 

Here's why 64-bit (not 32-bit) dominates modern computing

Today's computing world isn't the same as it once was. With 64-bit processors and operating systems replacing the older 32-bit designs, we look at what 32-bit vs. 64-bit really means for you.

A Google patent shows a way to make VR even more immersive

Virtual reality can be a really immersive experience, but it does sometimes it does have boundaries. Google has addressed this problem by patenting shoes with a flexible region on the bottom.

Converting files from MKV to MP4 is quick and easy. Just follow these steps

MKV files have their place, but if you would rather convert your videos from MKV to MP4, there are two methods we consider the best and most efficient for getting it done. In this guide, we'll walk you through them step by step.

Heal your wrist aches and pains with one of these top ergonomic mice

If you have a growing ache in your wrist, it might be worth considering changing up your mouse for something ergonomic. But which is the best ergonomic mouse for you? One of these could be the ticket to the right purchase for you.

Our 10 favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.

All the Best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…

Windows 10 notifications driving you crazy? Here's how to get them under control

Are the notifications on Windows 10 annoying you? Here's our guide on how to turn off notifications in Windows, and how to manage alerts so that the important stuff still gets through.