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US Federal Court Says Net Neutrality Is Legal. Trump’s FCC Wants to Kill It Anyway

Activists win in US court ahead of battle to defend the internet’s open access principle.

A top US court on Monday upheld the legality of federal rules protecting net neutrality, the internet's open access principle, providing a much-needed boost to activists who are resisting efforts by Trump's top telecom regulator to dismantle the Obama-era FCC's policy

Net neutrality means that the nation's largest internet service providers (ISPs) like AT&T and Verizon can't favor their own content, block rival services, or sell online "fast lanes" to the highest bidder. In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission codified the principle through its landmark Open Internet order, in a major victory for public interest advocates.

Broadband giants like AT&T and Verizon oppose the FCC's policy because it subjects them to utility-style regulation, and they promptly sued the agency to kill the rules. Last summer, a three-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the policy, in a bitter defeat for the broadband giants. In response, the ISPs asked for a rare "en banc" review by the full DC Circuit. On Monday, that request was denied.

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