Court sets schedule for net neutrality case

Court sets schedule for net neutrality case

A federal court has set a schedule for the legal case over the Federal Communications Commission's controversial net neutrality rules.

The telecom companies, trade groups and individuals suing the FCC must submit briefs to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia by July 30. Their supporters have until August 6 to submit their own filings.

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The FCC will then have until September 16 to respond, with its supporters chiming in by September 21.

Another round of briefs from the petitioners in the case will come on October 5 — and all final briefs will be due by October 13.

Oral arguments will follow. Observers expect the court to decide the case by early 2016.

Telecom firms have challenged the FCC’s decision to reclassify broadband Internet as a utility. That decision gives the FCC more authority over Internet providers, which they say they can use to keep the powerful companies in check.

As the case winds its way through the court, the FCC is expected to clarify some of its expectations under the net neutrality order. It will likely initiate a rulemaking procedure in the coming months to determine how Internet providers must meet new privacy requirements instituted under the rule.

Only one formal complaint under the order's three "bright line rules" has been filed since it went into effect on June 12.