The Federal Communications Commision’s (FCC) net neutrality rules came into effect today (12 June) as the US regulator fought off one legal challenge, but with more to come.
The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit failed to grant a stay on the new rules, which ban broadband providers, both mobile and fixed, from blocking, throttling or offering paid prioritisation over their networks.
“Today’s court decision means open internet rules will take effect Friday. It’s a good day for consumers and innovators,” tweeted FCC chairman Tom Wheeler (pictured).
The bid to hold back the introduction of net neutrality came from 10 groups, including the US Telecom Association, which represents companies including AT&T and Verizon, and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association.
However, the appeals court ruling does not head off the legal challenge itself, which will come in an expedited form. Both the FCC and its opponents had requested a speedier process for the case, and the likes of the USTA and NCTA welcomed that aspect of the court ruling.
The substance of the operators’ case against the regulator is not the notion of net neutrality, which they claim to support. It is the method used by the FCC to introduce it.
They have majored on the FCC’s reclassification of telecoms services under Title II of the Communications Act, which dates back to 1934. They claim the approach is outdated and heavyhanded.