A U.S. appeals court has rejected Verizon Communications's request for a specific panel of judges to hear its challenge to the Federal Communications Commission's new Internet traffic rules.

Verizon had asked for the same judges who last year decided the FCC lacked the authority to stop Comcast Corp from blocking bandwidth-hogging applications on its broadband network, spurring the agency's most recent rulemaking effort.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied on Wednesday Verizon's request in a brief order that made no mention of any other aspect of the appeal the company filed last month.

Verizon had no comment on the appeals court's action.

A divided FCC voted 3-2 on December 21 for the Internet rules that forbid broadband providers from blocking legal content but would recognize their need to manage their networks and allow them to charge consumers based on levels of usage.

Verizon, the majority owner of the largest U.S. wireless service, has argued the rules would modify wireless licenses it holds and maintains the FCC overstepped its authority.

MetroPCS Communications, the fifth-largest U.S. wireless carrier, has filed a similar appeal.

The FCC last week asked the court to dismiss the challenges to the rules.

(Reporting by Jasmin Melvin; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)