An AT&T executive says “net neutrality” rules have forced the company to “shelve” potential new products, and the legal fight over the rules imposed by the FCC earlier this year resumes in a federal appeals court today.

The hearing is scheduled Friday in Washington.

AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and other service providers have fought the rules.

“Since the Open Internet Order came out we’ve had weekly calls with the business units and literally 15 lawyers who are all trying to figure out whether that stuff we’ve invested in… would be a violation of the order,” AT&T’s Bob Quinn recently said in an interview with news website Politico.

“We’ve had to shelve a bunch of stuff because we’ve got to wait and see.”

The FCC rules that require Internet providers to treat all Web traffic equally.

  • Report: Net neutrality doesn’t always mean innovation – a WRAL TechWire Insider story.

Cable and telecom industry groups will urge a three-judge panel to throw out regulations that forbid online content from being blocked or channeled into fast and slow lanes.

The FCC, led by Commissioner Tom Wheeler, approved the rules in February after its previous attempt to mandate “net neutrality” was struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Those rules treat broadband service like a public utility and prevent Internet service providers from letting some content companies pay to get faster service than others.

Providers say the rules threaten innovation and undermine investment in broadband infrastructure.