The gods of appellate court review are smiling on the FCC in the New Year, at least for the time being. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court injunction that prevented the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission from regulating Vonage as a traditional phone company. The Eighth Circuit decided, in essence, that it was bound to enforce the FCC's decision in November that Vonage's Internet voice service is an interstate service subject to federal jurisdiction, thereby preempting inconsistent state regulation. The FCC's November decision must still withstand review by an appellate court that will not be similarly bound. But the FCC's Eighth Circuit victory dodges another bullet in its efforts to promote investment and innovation in broadband and other advanced communications services by minimizing regulation of these services. One of the most significant of these efforts is the agency's Supreme Court appeal of the 9th Circuit's Brand X cable modem decision, as I discussed in the first and second weeks of December.