US Court Curbs FCC Authority on Web Traffic

Posted in: Governance at 07/04/2010 18:35

A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that regulators had limited power over Web traffic under current law. The decision will allow Internet service companies to block or slow specific sites and charge video sites like YouTube to deliver their content faster to users.

The court decision was a setback to efforts by the Federal Communications Commission to require companies to give Web users equal access to all content, even if some of that content is clogging the network.

To read this report in The New York Times in full, see:
www.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/technology/07net.html

Also see:

Court rules for Comcast over FCC in 'net neutrality' case
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission lacks the authority to force Internet service providers to keep their networks open to all forms of content, throwing into doubt the agency's status as watchdog of the Web.

The FCC has long sought to impose rules requiring Internet providers to offer equal treatment to all Web traffic, a concept known as network neutrality. But in a unanimous decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found that the agency lacked the power to stop cable giant Comcast from slowing traffic to a popular file-sharing site.
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/06/AR2010040600742.html

Court Drives FCC Towards Nuclear Option to Regulate Broadband
A federal appeals court all but told the FCC Tuesday that it has no power to regulate the internet, putting large chunks of the much-lauded national broadband plan at risk. And the FCC has only itself to blame.

Telecoms and many internet activists have long argued that the internet is a developing technology that was innovating so quickly that strict regulations would hamper it. In 2005, that argument drove the FCC under the Bush Administration to win a fight in the Supreme Court for the right to deregulate broadband providers, classifying them as an "information service," largely outside the FCC's power, rather than a "telecommunications service" that could be regulated like the phone system.
www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/04/fcc-next/

US broadband plan in 'legal limbo' after court ruling
America's broadband plan is in "legal limbo" and on "life support" claim advocacy groups after a court ruling affecting net neutrality enforcement.

The court said the Federal Communications Commission, FCC, had no authority to sanction Comcast for slowing internet traffic to some users.

The decision is regarded as a major blow to government plans to insist all web traffic is treated equally.
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8606280.stm

Court rules against FCC's Comcast Net neutrality decision [IDG]
A U.S. appeals court has ruled that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission did not have the authority to order Comcast to stop throttling peer-to-peer traffic in the name of network management.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in an order Tuesday, overturned the FCC's August 2008 ruling forcing Comcast to abandon its network management efforts aimed at users of the BitTorrent P-to-P (peer-to-peer) service and other applications. The FCC lacked "any statutorily mandated responsibility" to enforce network neutrality rules, wrote Judge David Tatel.
www.computerworld.com/s/article/9174869/Update_Court_rules_against_FCC_s_Comcast_Net_neutrality_decision
www.computerworld.com.au/article/342167/court_rules_against_us_fcc_comcast_net_neutrality_decision

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