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FCC says may appeal court ruling against its net neutrality rule

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Thomas Wheeler speaks during a Town Hall meeting in Oakland, California January 9, 2014 REU
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Thomas Wheeler speaks during a Town Hall meeting in Oakland, California January 9, 2014 REU

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission may appeal the ruling by a U.S. appeals court on Tuesday that struck down the agency's so-called net neutrality rules, according to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

"I am committed to maintaining our networks as engines for economic growth, test beds for innovative services and products, and channels for all forms of speech protected by the First Amendment," Wheeler said in a statement.

"We will consider all available options, including those for appeal, to ensure that these networks on which the Internet depends continue to provide a free and open platform for innovation and expression, and operate in the interest of all Americans."

The FCC's 2011 open Internet rules require Internet providers to treat all Web traffic equally and give consumers equal access to all lawful content but were challenged by Verizon Communications Inc as excessive.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday sided with Verizon and ruled that the FCC did not have the legal authority to enact the 2011 regulations.

(Reporting by Alina Selyukh; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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