Appeals Court Rejects ISP Stay Of Neutrality Rules, Which Officially Go Live Tomorrow

from the live-to-fight-another-day dept

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has denied the broadband industry's requested stay of the FCC's reclassification of ISPs as common carriers under Title II, meaning the agency's shiny new net neutrality rules will go live tomorrow as scheduled, much to the chagrin of the nation's broadband duopoly. Incumbent ISPs requested the stay last month, claiming the FCC's rules were "arbitrary and capricious," "vague and onerous," and act to create "significant uncertainty about the introduction of new services" while "exposing providers to costly litigation."

According to the court order (pdf), broadband providers failed to provide "the stringent requirements for a stay pending court review," meaning that the FCC's new net neutrality rules will remain in place for the duration of the ISPs assault on the FCC. While the courts have promised to expedite it, a resolution to the case could still take more than a year. FCC boss Tom Wheeler was quick to take to the FCC website to applaud the ruling:
"This is a huge victory for Internet consumers and innovators! Starting Friday, there will be a referee on the field to keep the Internet fast, fair and open," said the Commission boss. "Blocking, throttling, pay-for-priority fast lanes and other efforts to come between consumers and the Internet are now things of the past. The rules also give broadband providers the certainty and economic incentive to build fast and competitive broadband networks."
While net neutrality opponents in the House have been trying all manner of poison pills and other efforts to kill the rules, hamstring the FCC, or curtail the agency's budget, short of a court win -- the only viable way to kill the rules moving forward is a 2016 party shift, FCC leadership change, and subsequent gutting of the agency's order. Annoyed by recent blocked mergers and an uncharacteristically consumer friendly FCC boss bullish on broadband competition, you can be fairly certain that AT&T, Verizon and Comcast lobbyists are already very busy trying to ensure that a more incumbent-friendly scenario comes to fruition.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2015 @ 9:06pm

    We are still a nation of laws? I will keep my fingers crossed.

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