In early May we talked about a coalition of companies that had teamed up to try and get a federal appeals court to suspend net neutrality rules and prevent them from going into effect, that appeal has failed. The coalition of firms was led by AT&T and counted several other companies as members. Originally, the FCC had ruled that the roll out of net neutrality rules would start this past February and would reclassify internet as a utility.
Net neutrality rules will do several things including preventing service providers from blocking access to legal content, throttling internet traffic, and offering paid prioritization to companies willing to pay for their offering to go faster than others.
The appeals court handed down a ruling on Thursday that said in part, “petitioners have not satisfied the stringent requirements.” One of the key requirements that went unmet in the courts eyes was proving irreparable harm from the implementation of the new rules.
However, the court ruling did put a lawsuit over the net neutrality rules on a fast track and denying the stay doesn’t mean that AT&T and the other firms won’t win in court when the lawsuit begins. The main issue that the companies opposing net neutrality have is the clause in the rules having to do with so-called “unreasonable interference” with consumer access to the web.