By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A federal appeals court has handed a victory to supporters of ‘net neutrality’ rules put in place at the end of the Obama administration. But it could be short-lived, as the new sheriff in town at the Federal Communications Commission is primed for a fight over the regulations.

The court’s decision has much to do with timing. It doesn’t make sense, the judges ruled, for them to review what’s known as the Open Internet Order when the new FCC is promising to replace what chairman Ajit Pai argues has had a chilling effect on innovation and investment.

“The free and open Internet developed and flourished under light-touch regulation,” Pai said. “We’re weren’t living in some digital dystopia before the partisan imposition of a massive plan hatched in Washington saved all of us from ourselves.”

Pai’s plan is to roll back government regulations that treat the Internet as a public utility. Advocates argue current rules keep companies like Comcast and Verizon from blocking sites and apps, throttling browsing speeds, or playing favorites with online services that pay more.

The FCC is expected to vote to begin the repeal process on May 18th.