Internet service providers and trade groups, including AT&T and Verizon, will get their day in court in December to argue against so-called “net neutrality” rules imposed by the FCC earlier this year.
The U.S. Court of Appeals fpr the District of Columbia Circuit will hear oral arguments on Dec. 4.
Trade group USTelecom is leading the net neutrality fight.
Just last week, USTelecom along with AT&T and CenturyLink reiterated their opposition to FCC regulation of the Internet as a utility.
The FCC voted by a 3-2 margin in February to impost rules that include the barring of Internet providers from establishing channels for priority traffic.
However, AT&T later dropped its opposition to some net neutrality requirements in winning FCC approval for its acquisition of DirecTV. That deal closed last week.
What happens in the D.C. court is crucial to the FCC-Internet provider fight.
As The Wall Street Journal notes:
“Challenges to agency regulations in many circumstances can go straight to the D.C. Circuit instead of going to a trial court first. Because of its role in reviewing government regulations, the D.C. Circuit is considered by some legal observers to be the nation’s second most powerful court, behind only the Supreme Court.”