DENVER (AP) - A federal appeals court is rejecting challenges to the FCC's plan to expand broadband Internet service to rural areas. The expansion is funded partly by fees paid by telecommunications companies. Many of those companies contended the FCC did not have the authority to use the money for Internet service. In a 297-page ruling, a three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver dismissed the challenges as either unpersuasive or not issues the court could address. The FCC in 2011 estimated the expansion would provide high-speed Internet service to about 7 million people.