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Verizon and MetroPCS think blocking apps should be legal, appeal the FCC’s decision

Updated Nov 1st, 2012 5:37PM EDT
Verizon MetroPCS Blocking Apps

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Verizon Wireless (VZ) and MetroPCS (PCS) have filed paperwork to appeal a Federal Communications Commission policy that prevents carriers from controlling apps and other services on devices that run on their networks. The FCC decision, which went into effect in December 2011, has already forced Verizon to stop its practice of blocking tethering apps while also fining the carrier $1.25 million. Both mobile operators, however, argue that the FCC is overstepping its mandate and look to reverse the decision. Verizon and MetroPCS argue that the ruling is unconstitutional and violates the First Amendment, claiming that “broadband networks are the modern-day microphone by which their owners engage in First Amendment speech.” The carriers state that the rules are “arbitrary and capricious,” and also violate the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.