MetroPCS Communications became the second company to challenge the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's new Internet traffic rules, following Verizon Communications' appeal last week.
MetroPCS, the fifth-largest U.S. wireless carrier, said on Tuesday it had filed its appeal in the same court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Roger Linquist, MetroPCS's chief executive, said the challenge was to ensure that the concerns of competitive wireless carriers, like MetroPCS, are addressed.
The rules adopted by the FCC in a split vote last month give wireless service providers more leeway in managing their networks but still forbid them from blocking access to websites or competing voice and video applications.
Earlier this month, some public interest groups accused MetroPCS of discriminating against some Internet content, applications and websites with its new 4G data plans. The company said in response that its plans complied with the new FCC rules.
MetroPCS is committed to promoting competition and an open Internet by giving consumers choices for wireless Internet access services at prices they can afford, Linquist said in a statement on Tuesday.
Linquist said concerns over the FCC's jurisdiction, the Verizon appeal, and the criticism of the company's new 4G rate plans prompted the appeal.
Verizon's appeal accused the FCC of overstepping its authority with the new Internet rules.
The D.C. appeals court is viewed as a favorable venue for such challenges. The same court ruled last year that the FCC lacked the authority to stop Comcast Corp from blocking bandwidth-hogging applications on its broadband network, spurring the agency's most recent rulemaking effort.
The FCC voted 3-2 on December 21 to issue the rules that aimed to reclaim its authority over broadband and prevent network operators from blocking lawful content, while still letting them ration access to their networks.
(Reporting by Jasmin Melvin; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)