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 Good Gear Guide 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

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

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.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?