Verizon announced USENET Newsgroups plans to file an appeal to overturn the FCC’s net neutrality rules, noting they believe the laws to be illegal because they change Verizon’s spectrum licenses without their approval. The company filed suit in January, but the case was thrown out a few months later.
According to certain newsgroups, Free Press and the nonprofit ISP Mountain Area Informational Network (MAIN) filed their own suits not long ago, arguing that laws governing mobile broadband providers should be stronger to keep up with laws that govern providers of wire line service. Basically, they are arguing that the FCC’s new rules are not as far-reaching as they should be, while Verizon argues the opposite.
Senior vice president and deputy general counsel Michael Glover notes, “Verizon is fully committed to an open Internet. We are deeply concerned by the FCC’s assertion of broad authority to impose potentially sweeping and unneeded regulations on broadband networks and services and on the Internet itself. We believe this assertion of authority is inconsistent with the statute and will create uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers.”
For its part, the FCC argues that the new net neutrality rules provide providers with certainty as to what they can and cannot do. The new rules will prevent broadband providers from blocking consumers’ access to Web content deemed to be legal. That means that providers are not allowed to prevent customers from viewing online channels, including USENET.
Usenet, which precedes the Internet, has always been based on an open and free network of communication and sharing. Through various newsgroups, users may share ideas, debates, and files with other users from around the world. There is no supreme authority of Usenet, as each provider dictates to which newsgroups they provide access, and also may come up with its own policies for service. Usenet survives because it continues to serve as a vibrant community of users who believe in the openness of communication and the sharing of ideas.