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DC Court declines to rehear net neutrality case

DC Court declines to rehear net neutrality case

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday denied multiple appeals to rehear a decision upholding the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) repeal of the Obama-era net neutrality rules.

The 2015 net neutrality rules classified internet service providers as common carriers, similar to telecommunications providers, who are not allowed to discriminate against various forms of traffic.

The FCC under Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai repealed those rules in late 2017 and also barred states from passing their own net neutrality regulations.

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Pai's action faced legal challenges but was upheld by a district court and then by the D.C. Circuit in October. The circuit court, however, struck down the measure blocking states from implementing their own net neutrality rules.

Multiple parties, including Mozilla, who led the initial lawsuit, filed for a rehearing in December.

"Given how important this issue is to people's online experience and the internet, we believe these arguments deserved a rehearing," Amy Keating, the chief legal officer at Mozilla, said in a statement to The Hill.

"We are considering next steps. Mozilla is committed to fighting for consumers and net neutrality alongside our community, whether in Congress, states, or courts."

The battle over net neutrality has not been contained to the courts.

House Democrats last year voted to reinstate the Obama-era rules in a mostly party-line vote. But the bill has not been taken up in the Republican Senate and the White House threatened to veto the legislation if it made it to President Trump's desk.