Appeals court rules FCC overstepped in net neutrality

By Kyle Johnson,

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled that the Federal Communications Commission could not force Internet service providers to treat all Internet traffic the same.

The F.C.C. can regulate some aspects of Internet service, but not all, reports The New York Times. The ruling opens the door for service providers to sell off quicker connections to content to specific websites for a price.

F.C.C. chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement that the commission might look into an appeal. "We will consider all available options, including those for appeal" as the F.C.C. looks to keep the Internet as a "free and open platform for innovation and expression."

Though the decision overturned the previously set mandate for traffic equality, proponents of Net Neutrality feel the ruling isn't all negative, according to USA Today. The Appeals Court decision has now clarified that the F.C.C. can write some rules in regards to the Internet.

Public Knowledge senior vice president Harold Feld commented that "In some respects, no one got what they wanted out of this decision."

The NY Times notes that one way the F.C.C. could do to get around the court's decision would be to classify Internet service as a utility, though the commission has shown reluctance to do so.

image: Wikimedia Commons



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