A federal appeals court says Internet companies such as America Online and Netcom don't have to pay fees to support the nation's telephone system.

The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in St. Louis was part of a broader ruling Wednesday upholding the Federal Communications Commission's over-haul last year of telephone fees.It marked a rare victory for the commission, which in the past year has lost several high-profile telecommunications cases.