A federal court rejected a bid by cable and telecom companies to block net-neutrality rules Thursday, paving the way for the expansive new Internet regulations to take effect Friday.
The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is a relief to the Federal Communications Commission, which enacted the rules in February. But the legal battle over net neutrality is far from over.
Associations for the cable providers, telecom companies, and cellular carriers plan to continue their fight to repeal the rules after they take effect. The groups warn the regulations will stifle investment in broadband networks, ultimately leading to worse Internet service for everyone.
In a brief statement, the three judge panel of the D.C. Circuit said that the Internet providers had "not satisfied the stringent requirements" needed to suspend the rules while their lawsuit is pending.
The court did grant the request from both the companies and the FCC to fast-track the case to get a final ruling as soon as possible.
"This is a huge victory for Internet consumers and innovators!" FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement. "Starting Friday, there will be a referee on the field to keep the Internet fast, fair and open."