The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Tuesday upheld the legality of the Federal Communications Commission’s landmark net neutrality policy, in a resounding vindication of federal rules designed to ensure that all content on the internet is equally accessible.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for consumers and innovators who deserve unfettered access to the entire web, and it ensures the internet remains a platform for unparalleled innovation, free expression and economic growth,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement.

“After a decade of debate and legal battles, today’s ruling affirms the Commission’s ability to enforce the strongest possible internet protections—both on fixed and mobile networks—that will ensure the internet remains open, now and in the future.”

Public interest advocates say the FCC’s policy is necessary to maintain the internet as an open platform for free speech, economic growth, and civic empowerment. The nation’s largest broadband companies challenged the rules, arguing that the FCC, which has twice before seen its open internet policy thrown out in federal court, overstepped its authority.

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