Today, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that key provisions of regulations promulgated by the FCC, referred to as the “Open Internet Rules” (or “Net Neutrality” to most), were outside the agency’s authority. Specifically, the court held that rules requiring broadband internet service providers to treat all internet traffic equally were beyond the FCC’s powers, because broadband providers are not considered “common carriers.”
The ruling did acknowledge the broad authority of the FCC to regulate internet service providers under existing federal law. However, the court held that broadband ISPs could not be regulated as “common carriers,” who are required to pass whatever they carry (passengers on trains and telephone calls, for examples) without preference.
Without Net Neutrality, without the broadband ISPs treating all information equally, they have strong incentive to put profits ahead of innovation. In fact, as the court made mention, they’re already doing it.
Without Net Neutrality, the Internet will never be the same. (more…)
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