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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentbroadbandregulationinternetlegaltelecommunicationInternet service providersU.S. Federal Communications CommissionCivil lawsuitsU.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia CircuitNational Cable and Telecommunications AssociationUSTelecomTom WheelerWalter McCormick Jr.TechFreedomBerin SzokaBrian Dietz

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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?