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Court Dismisses Challenges to Net Neutrality Rules, Leaves Door Open for Future Suits

FCC CourtChallenges to the FCC's new Net neutrality rules filed by Verizon and MetroPCS have been dismissed by a federal appeals court judge. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia tossed out the cases on a technicality. Since the rules had not yet been published in the federal register, it was too early to file challenges to them. The decision does not prevent either company from filing suit again after the new regulations are published however, and, according to Forbes, Verizon is planning to refile. The FCC is already under fire from congressional Republicans who voted in February to overturn the rules. For its part, Verizon likes its chances, having filed suit in the same court that came down on the side of Comcast in April of 2010 after the FCC rebuked the company for blocking P2P traffic.

How the battle will play out is anyone's guess. Though the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. has sided with ISPs over Net neutrality before, that doesn't guarantee that it will find in Verizon's favor this time around. And any efforts to repeal the rules will likely be met with stiff opposition by the Obama administration and Senate Democrats. Still, House Republicans are not above playing politics, having inserted language barring the FCC from using federal funds to implement the rules into a broad spending bill, which Congress is under intense pressure to pass.

Tags: court, fcc, metropcs, NetNeutrality, politics, top, verizon