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Net Neutrality Goes to Court: A Guide to the Internet's Legal Fate

The lawsuits against the FCC's Open Internet rules could arrive this week
Next stop for net neutrality: federal court.

Next stop for net neutrality: federal court.

Tim Evanson/Flickr

When the Federal Communications Commission published the full text of its Open Internet rules last week, it set off the final countdown toward legal assault that has been inevitable for months. The lawsuits can begin once the rules are published in the Federal Register, which should happen as soon as this week, setting off what both supporters and critics of the FCC hope will be the last chapter in a decade-long struggle over federal regulation of the Internet. 

Lawyers for the opponents—mostly large telecoms and their trade organizations—are currently poring over the 300-plus pages of rules looking for the basis of their lawsuits. The anti-FCC forces won't say exactly what strategy they will take. “Given the order’s many glaring legal flaws, they will have plenty of fodder,” predicted FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai in his official dissent. Here's a guide to the legal case against the FCC's new rules.