Author Topic: Court strikes down net neutrality  (Read 225 times)

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Offline flowers

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Court strikes down net neutrality
« on: January 14, 2014, 11:51:41 AM »

A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down the Obama administration’s net-neutrality rules.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Federal Communications Commission overstepped its authority by prohibiting Internet providers from blocking or discriminating against traffic to lawful websites.

By classifying Internet access as an “information service” as opposed to a “telecommunications service” — which is the classification used for traditional telephone companies — the FCC cannot impose its “anti-discrimination” and “anti-blocking” rules on Internet providers, the court said.

“Given that the Commission has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers, the Communications Act expressly prohibits the Commission from nonetheless regulating them as such,” the judges wrote.

The decision is blow to President Obama, who made net neutrality a campaign pledge in 2008, and erases one of the central accomplishments of former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who pushed the "Open Internet" order.

On the winning side is Verizon, which filed the lawsuit, and other major telecom companies. They argued the rules created a huge regulatory burden while stifling innovation in the marketplace.

The regulations were strongly backed by Internet companies like Google and Netflix, which fear that Internet providers will begin to charge them more for the heavy use of their sites by customers.

The appeals court gave the FCC a path to reviving the regulations. Though it disagreed with the agency’s approach, the court said the commission has the authority “to promulgate rules governing broadband providers’ treatment of Internet traffic."

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler noted the aspect of the court's decision and vowed to “consider all available options, including those for appeal.”

“I am committed to maintaining our networks as engines for economic growth, test beds for innovative services and products, and channels for all forms of speech protected by the First Amendment,” he said.

Some advocates questioned Wheeler's commitment to net neutrality in December after he signaled openness to a "two-sided" market, where Internet providers could charge content providers for better access.

Wheeler later said he is “a strong supporter of the open Internet rules, full stop.”

Offline SouthTexas

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Re: Court strikes down net neutrality
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2014, 12:08:48 PM »
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler noted the aspect of the court's decision and vowed to “consider all available options, including those for appeal.”

I'm sure ignoring the ruling will be right up there on their list too.

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