Appeals court denies requests to delay net neutrality rules

The FCC's net neutrality rules go into effect Friday, as scheduled

U.S. President Barack Obama has nominated Tom Wheeler to be chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

U.S. President Barack Obama has nominated Tom Wheeler to be chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

A U.S. appeals court has denied requests by several broadband providers and trade groups to delay the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules while they challenge the regulations.

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Thursday denied 10 requests to delay the implementation of the rules. The court's denial of the stay requests means the new net neutrality rules will go into effect as scheduled Friday, even as 10 lawsuits against the rules go forward at the appeals court.

The groups requesting a stay of the rules "have not satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay pending court review," a panel of three judges wrote Thursday.

Groups challenging the net neutrality rules had argued that the FCC's reclassification of broadband as a regulated, telecom-style service would create massive new regulations for broadband providers to deal with. Supporters of the lawsuits had also looked to a stay to signal the appeals court's inclination to rule against the FCC, although a denial of a stay may not necessarily mean the court approves of the rules.

Getting a stay is often difficult, said Berin Szoka, president of TechFreedom, a free market think tank opposed to the rules.

"The fact that the court didn't issue the stay until the 11th hour strongly suggests that at least one judge thought the arguments for the stay were compelling," he said by email. "Otherwise, the court would have issued the stay much earlier."

The court's denial of the stay requests is a "huge victory for Internet consumers and innovators," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement. "Starting Friday, there will be a referee on the field to keep the Internet fast, fair and open. Blocking, throttling, pay-for-priority fast lanes and other efforts to come between consumers and the Internet are now things of the past."

Brian Dietz, vice president of communications for the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, sent a sad face in an email when asked for a comment on the court action. NCTA is one of the trade groups suing the FCC over the rules.

Along with the denial of the stay, the judges approved an expedited briefing schedule for the lawsuits, now combined into one court action. The judges urged plaintiffs to file joint proposals for a briefing format and schedule, saying the court "looks with extreme disfavor on repetitious submissions."

Granting an expedited briefing schedule suggests that the court finds "at least some merit" in the plaintiffs' arguments about economic injury from the rules, Szoka said.

USTelecom, another trade group suing the FCC, also welcomed the expedited briefing schedule, even though the group was disappointed in the denial of the stay.

"The court's decision to grant expedited briefing shows the gravity of the issues at stake, and will facilitate a quicker path to determining the proper legal treatment for regulating broadband Internet access service," USTelecom President and CEO Walter McCormick Jr. said in a statement.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags telecommunicationWalter McCormick Jr.National Cable and Telecommunications AssociationregulationBerin SzokaCivil lawsuitsU.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia CircuitinternetInternet service providersUSTelecomTom WheelerTechFreedomlegalU.S. Federal Communications CommissionBrian Dietzgovernmentbroadband

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?