When T-Mobile sealed its merger with MetroPCS, we knew that several things were going to happen. T-Mobile would get MetroPCS' customers, for starters. And T-Mobile would start bringing 4G LTE online across the country. But what we couldn't predict was that the deal would have an impact on the future of the Internet.
At T-Mobile's direction, MetroPCS has decided to withdraw from a key court case challenging the FCC's net neutrality rules. Drawn up in 2011, the regulation in question prohibits companies from slowing your connection or charging you extra for using data-intensive Web services like Netflix or Facebook. Oral arguments were expected to take place this month, but were inexplicably delayed until at least the fall. Now, the lawsuit faces another setback. The court could still wind up deciding in favor of the sole remaining plaintiff (Verizon), but for now the situation looks grim. A spokesperson for Verizon declined to comment.
The news is a welcome gift to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on his last day in office.
"I applaud T-Mobile’s decision to withdraw from this litigation," he said in a statement.