Net Neutrality Ruled Unenforceable

Net Neutrality looks like it could be in danger of being defeated.

From NPR:

In a landmark ruling Tuesday, a federal appeals court has struck down key parts of the Federal Communications Commission’s open-Internet rules, effectively ruling that the federal government cannot enforce net neutrality. Put more simply, it can’t require that Internet service providers treat all traffic equally.

In a , the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the agency’s rules had no basis in federal law. A key passage:

“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. Because the Commission has failed to establish that the anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules do not impose per se common carrier obligations, we vacate those portions of the Open Internet Order.”

Judges did, however, preserve the disclosure requirements that say while Verizon and other carriers can make some traffic run faster or block services, they have to tell subscribers they’re doing it.

From PC World

The decision holds tremendous portent for the future of the Internet.

Net neutrality advocates fear that without rules in place, big companies like Netflix, Disney, and ESPN could gain advantage over competitors by paying ISPs to provide preferential treatment to their company’s data. For example, YouTube might pay extra so that its videos load faster than Hulu’s on the ISP’s network.

We’ve already seen shades of What Could Happen in AT&T’s Sponsored Data and Comcast’s decision to have the Xfinity TV streaming app for the Xbox 360 not count against Comcast subscribers’ data caps.

”We’re disappointed that the court came to this conclusion,” Craig Aaron, president and CEO of digital rights group Free Press, said in a statement. “Its ruling means that Internet users will be pitted against the biggest phone and cable companies—and in the absence of any oversight, these companies can now block and discriminate against their customers’ communications at will.”

CNBC covered the ruling below, the analyst notes he feels this all about Netflix. Its safe to say its about more than Netflix but they certainly are at the top of the list.

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Comments

  1. BrianWick says

    this antitrust stuff claim has been going on for a long time. something about even aol several years back
    i guess there will be HOV lanes of sorts on the internet freeways.

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