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FCC’s ‘Open Internet’ Rules Are in Effect—At Least for Now

Rules took effect June 12, as a federal court rejected requests by opponents to delay the rules, pending lawsuits against the agency

WASHINGTON�The FCC�s new ��open Internet�� rules took effect June 12,as a federal court rejected requests by opponents to delay the rules, pending lawsuits against the agency.

A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit denied a request filed by wireless and broadband industry groups to delay the FCC’s adoption of so-called net neutrality rules. �The new rules reclassify �broadband� as a public utility and prohibit broadband providers from slowing down or blocking Internet traffic.

The ruling by the court comes as a relief to the FCC, which is facing several lawsuits over the rules, according

AT&T, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the U.S. Telecom Association and theCTIAmobile trade group are among a handful of groups that filed suit against the FCC in April accusing the agency of overstepping its authority when it decided to reclassify broadband as a public utility. ��The court was asked to put the rules on temporary hold while the lawsuit against the FCC was ongoing. The DC Circuit judges eventually stated that the groups “have not satisfied the stringent requirements” to block the rules while their underlying lawsuit is pending.

CTIA President Meredith Attwell Baker was quoted thus: �While the stay decision is disappointing and a loss for consumers, securing a judicial stay is always a challenge given the extremely high standards. The case is just beginning and the stakes are high.”

The FCC is facing challenges from within the Government as well.The House Appropriations Committee hastied net neutrality to the FCC�s funding for 2016. The committee�s 2016 financial services bill �prohibits the FCC from implementing net neutrality until certain court cases are resolved, requires newly proposed regulations to be made publicly available for 21 days before the Commission votes on them, and prohibits the FCC from regulating rates for either wireline or wireless Internet service,���