Net Neutrality Rules Upheld By Federal Court Of Appeals
June 14, 2016 at 8:16 AM (PT)
THE NEW YORK TIMES reports, "High-speed internet service can be defined as a utility, a federal court has ruled, a decision clearing the way for more rigorous policing of broadband providers and greater protections for web users. The decision from a three-judge panel at THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT on TUESDAY comes in a case about rules applying to a doctrine known as net neutrality, which prohibit broadband companies from blocking or slowing the delivery of internet content to consumers."
In MARCH (NET NEWS 3/17), ALL ACCESS reported FCC Chairman TOM WHEELER appeared before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to defend the process used in bringing the Net neutrality regulations to a vote, and while he claimed that the President did not send him "secret instructions" to develop the order, Republican members of the panel were skeptical of his protestations. In his prepared remarks, WHEELER stressed the influence of "nearly four million Americans, who overwhelmingly spoke in favor of preserving a free and open Internet. He said that President OBAMA's NOVEMBER 10th YOUTUBE announcement of support for Title II regulation of ISPs "had an impact on the Open Internet debate, including at the FCC," but only to the extent that it gave what WHEELER claimed to already be considering "new prominence."
The court’s decision TODAY, "upholds the FCC. on the declaration of broadband as a utility, the most significant aspect of the rules. That has broad-reaching implications for web and telecommunications companies and signals a shift in the government’s view of broadband as a service that should be equally accessible to all Americans, rather than a luxury that does not need close government supervision," adds THE TIMES. "The ruling may open a path for new limits on broadband providers."