FCC lacked authority to impose ‘net neutrality’ on broadband carriers, US federal appeals court rules

In a victory for Verizon Communications Inc., a federal appeals court has ruled that a government agency does not have the power to require broadband carriers to comply with so-called net neutrality regulations concerning Internet traffic.Having opted “to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers” under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Federal Communications Commission can’t impose “open Internet” rules on them even though the FCC has the power to regulate common carriers in this manner under the statute, explains the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in a Tuesday written opinion. The Threat Level blog of Wired provides a copy of the decision.
www.abajournal.com/news/article/fcc_lacked_authority_to_impose_net_neutrality_on_broadband_carriers_fedeal_/Also see:Appeals court rules against FCC’s right to protect ‘net neutrality’
Internet providers may be able to offer faster connections to preferred websites, or even block competitors, after a US appeals court ruled that regulators could no longer enforce the principle known as “net neutrality”.In a case seen as having profound implications for the future of digital innovation and free speech, the US court of appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in favour of broadband giant Verizon, following a long-running challenge to the Federal Communications Commission’s rule-making powers.
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jan/14/net-neutrality-internet-fcc-verizon-courtRebuffing F.C.C. in ‘Net Neutrality’ Case, Court Allows Streaming Deals
Internet service providers are free to make deals with services like Netflix or Amazon allowing those companies to pay to stream their products to online viewers through a faster, express lane on the web, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.Federal regulators had tried to prevent those deals, saying they would give large, rich companies an unfair edge in reaching consumers. But since the Internet is not considered a utility under federal law, the court said, it is not subject to regulations banning the arrangements.
www.nytimes.com/2014/01/15/technology/appeals-court-rejects-fcc-rules-on-internet-service-providers.htmlCourt strikes down FCC ‘net neutrality’ rule
A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down a far-reaching government effort to protect competition on the Web, allowing Internet providers to sell faster download speeds to the highest corporate bidder — even if access to other Web sites slows to a crawl.Ultimately, the ruling may limit consumer choices on the Internet, critics warned. Deep-pocketed, entrenched companies such as Google, Netflix and Facebook could buy better access to American businesses and homes, while new or less affluent rivals could see their content load more slowly.

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