A federal appeals court on Tuesday fully upheld the so-called Open Internet rules, regulations backing the principle of net neutrality.
It’s the idea that phone and cable companies should treat all of the traffic on their networks equally — no blocking or slowing their competitors, and no fast lanes for companies that can pay more.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit delivered a slam-dunk victory to the Federal Communications Commission as it rejected the petition filed by telecom, cable and wireless industry associations alongside AT&T, CenturyLink and several smaller providers.
The ruling was celebrated as a victory for consumers by various public interest groups and Internet companies that had supported the FCC in the lawsuit. However, the telecom industry is expected to continue battling the regulations in Congress and before the nation’s higher court:
“We have always expected this issue to be decided by the Supreme Court, and we look forward to participating in that appeal,” AT&T General Counsel David McAtee said in a statement.
This is the third time in less than a decade that the FCC has had to defend these principles, using various legal frameworks. This very court had twice rejected the FCC’s rules in lawsuits brought by Internet providers.
Last year, with President Obama and more than 4 million people weighing in through public comments, the FCC went all in and overhauled the way it regulates broadband Internet by reclassifying it as a more heavily regulated telecommunications service, similar to rules applied to public utilities.
Internet service providers challenged…