Appellate Court Backs FCC On Net Neutrality: Internet Is A Utility

FCC Building

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit very recently ruled on a case set forth by the United States Telecom Association, appealing decisions made by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which outlined rules for Net Neutrality. The appeal has been completed, with a two to one decision from the panel coming down on the side of the FCC.

You might remember that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler stated his intent to push for Title II back in February 2015, meaning ISP’s would be designated as common carriers, thus putting the internet under the regulation of the FCC. Once that plan was enacted, ISP’s were generally ornery. After pleading their case to a lower court (and losing), the ISP’s moved up to the appellate court in hope of a more favorable outcome. You can read the entire 184 page ruling if you’d really like, but the surprise has probably already been ruined: they lost again.

The FCC and other public interest groups were understandably happy with the ruling. If you thought even for a second that the major ISP’s would just accept the ruling and move on, they were clearly not, with AT&T vowing immediately to continue the fight with senior executive vice president and general counsel David McAtee II stating:

We have always expected this issue to be decided by the Supreme Court, and we look forward to participating in that appeal.

If that weren’t enough, the cable industry’s lobbying group, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, looked to Congress to craft legislation that better suited the whims of the ISP’s.

While this is unlikely the last step in this decade-long debate over internet regulation, we urge bipartisan leaders in Congress to renew their efforts to craft meaningful legislation that can end ongoing uncertainty, promote network investment and protect consumers.

If I were spending millions of dollars per year on lobbying and campaign contributions for members of Congress, I’d also want the people I was paying off to decide the future of my shady business practices. We’ll have to wait and see how much longer this fight drags on.

What do you think about the latest win for the FCC on Net Neutrality? Let us know in the comment section at the bottom of the page, or on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.

  Source: NY Times
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