Main | Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Appeals Court Overturns Net Neutrality

In a decision that may have far-reaching impact on how you view streaming internet video, today a U.S. Appeals Court overturned the FCC's ruling that internet providers must provide equal access to all information on their networks.
The court's ruling also could pose legal problems for the FCC as it seeks to enact the expansive National Broadband Policy it unveiled last month. A spokesman for Genachowski would not say what the next steps would be for the FCC as advisors reviewed the court's 36-page decision. Among the options would be to appeal the ruling, seek direct authority from Congress to regulate broadband or have the commission attempt to classify high-speed Internet service under existing law so it would be subject to the same type of regulation as telephone service. "The FCC is firmly committed to promoting an open Internet and to policies that will bring the enormous benefits of broadband to all Americans," said FCC spokeswoman Jen Howard. "It will rest these policies -- all of which will be designed to foster innovation and investment while protecting and empowering consumers -- on a solid legal foundation."
The huge winner in the case is Comcast, which has been accused of throttling (slowing down) the internet speeds of heavy-use customers and of planning to cripple the viewing quality of streaming video sites that compete with their own. Comcast contends that the FCC has no right to tell them how to handle traffic on their own system.

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