Filing the first of what is expected to be numerous legal challenges against the FCC’s net neutrality order, Free Press asked the First Circuit appeals court on Wednesday to overturn that order on grounds that the rules treat wireless broadband providers in a more lenient manner than fixed wireline carriers. The Free Press appeal comes on the heels of last week’s long-awaited publication of the net neutrality order in the Federal Register. Adopted along party lines last December, the order imposes less stringent non-blocking and non-discrimination requirements on providers of mobile broadband, which, the FCC explained at that time, constitutes “an earlier-stage platform than fixed broadband” that is “rapidly evolving.” In choosing to regulate wireless broadband services differently, the FCC also reasoned that “existing mobile networks present operational constraints that fixed broadband networks do not typically encounter.” Seeking review of the FCC’s decision “to adopt one set of rules for broadband access via mobile platforms and a different set of rules for broadband access via fixed platforms,” Free Press told the court that the net neutrality order violates the 1934 Communications Act “and is arbitrary and capricious.” Observing, “when the FCC first proposed the open Internet rules, they came with the understanding that there is only one Internet, no matter how people chose to reach it,” Free Press policy director Matt Wood charged that the less stringent rules applied to wireless operators “do not deliver on the promise to preserve openness for mobile Internet access” and “fail to protect wireless users from discrimination.” Although Wood told reporters that “our challenge will show that there is no evidence in the record to justify this arbitrary distinction between wired and wireless Internet access,” an executive of wireless association CTIA quipped: “I don’t know what Free Press is reading, but as the FCC noted during the proceeding, wireless is different.”