Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Net Neutrality Rule Set to Take Effect as Court Denies Stay

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An appeals court allowed U.S. open-Internet rules to take effect Friday while it continues weighing an industry challenge to so-called net neutrality regulations.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington asked for quick briefings in a case that pits broadband providers against the Federal Communications Commission and some Web companies.

“This is a huge victory for Internet consumers and innovators,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in an e-mailed statement after Thursday's ruling. “Starting Friday, there will be a referee on the field to keep the Internet fast, fair and open.”

USTelecom, whose members include AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., in March asked the court to vacate the FCC’s rules. AT&T filed a separate challenge, as did CTIA-The Wireless Association and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and others. The cases are being heard together.

Walter McCormick Jr., president of the U.S. Telecom Association, the trade association attacking the FCC’s rule, said he was “disappointed” by the ruling from a three-judge panel.

The expedited schedule shows the gravity of the issues, which include “the proper legal treatment for regulating broadband Internet access service,” he said.

The case is USTelecom v. FCC, 15-1063, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia (Washington).

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