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U.S. Appeals Court Strikes Down FCC's Net Neutrality Push

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Jan 14, 2014, 10:34 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

An appeals court today ruled that the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules are invalid. The FCC pushed through rules several years ago that force broadband companies to treat all internet traffic equally. It means companies such as Verizon Communications, the appellant in this case, cannot favor some traffic over others. The U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., said the FCC doesn't have the authority to issue such mandates. The order reads, in part, "Even though the Commission has general authority to regulate in this arena, it may not impose requirements that contravene express statutory mandates. Given that the Commission has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers, the Communications Act expressly prohibits the Commission from nonetheless regulating them as such. Because the Commission has failed to establish that the anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules do not impose per se common carrier obligations, we vacate those portions of the Open Internet Order." The ruling could have a large effect on how broadband companies, both wired and wireless, run the internet.

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Jan 17, 2014, 1:57 AM

If Congress were competent

There would already be good legislation to protect consumers, and the FCC wouldn't feel the need to overstep its bounds in order to protect consumers. Either that or the FCC's powers would have already been legally expanded to authorize their net neutrality rules.

But as it stands, government is incompetent at every level. And the courts have no qualms about legislating from the bench when it serves the interests of some powerful lobby and helps to erode the power of the Constitution. Their reservations about overstepping their bounds only come into play when Americans are fighting for their rights.

Jan 15, 2014, 9:00 PM

Fascism in America

Just another shining example how Corporations and banks rule America.

Jan 14, 2014, 10:59 AM


The Court system has failed us again. Cheers to paying for "faster" data access and getting throttled. I am a heavy data user and I pay for unlimited data. I can already notice how Tmobile slows down my internet connection when I have reached my 5GB of data on my phone. I can only imagine how much worse it will get. sigh.
agreed. I think the court screwed this one up. If the FCC is not able to control this then some government run board should be. But with all the money issues. Why not give the FCC power to do this. Props to the FCC for trying anyways...
The court's job is not to make things "fair". Their job is to interpret the law and make decisions based on it. This is a situation that should be handled by Congress and the President, which is how our Constitution says such things should be handl...

Jan 14, 2014, 5:14 PM

This is what happens...

This is what happens when powerful people who don't know what they're doing make decisions about things they don't understand.

Seriously though, isn't there a concept of "you're not qualified to make these decisions" in the courts somewhere?

What's next, network engineers presiding over court cases? lol.
RIGHT! I mean c'mon :/
Yama Gama

Jan 14, 2014, 5:05 PM



Here be danger; that the broadband service provider can selectively provide service. All the facebooking and youtube speed you could want - wait, you want to use wikipedia or share music with peers? Non-commercial purposes? 50kbps for you.
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