A federal appeals court denied the Federal Communications Commission’s request to postpone oral arguments in a court battle over the agency’s decision to repeal its net neutrality rules.
The FCC had asked for the hearing to be postponed since the commission’s workforce has largely been furloughed due to the partial government shutdown.
The hearing remains set for Feb. 1.
After the FCC repealed the rules requiring internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally in December of 2017, a coalition of consumer groups and state attorneys general sued to reverse the move, arguing that the agency failed to justify it.
The FCC asked the three-judge panel from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to delay oral arguments out of “an abundance of caution” due to its lapse in funding.
Net neutrality groups opposed the motion, arguing that there is an urgent need to settle the legal questions surrounding the FCC’s order.
“Due to the FCC’s misguided and unlawful repeal of the network neutrality rules, consumers are at risk of substantial harm from Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”), which may now interfere with access to lawful Internet content without the restraint of the net neutrality rules,” the trade group Incompas wrote in a filing this week.