FCC blow to net neutrality

February 2014

Broadcasting, internet


In what could be a major blow to the concept of net neutrality, a federal appeals court on Tuesday overturned a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule essentially aimed at keeping Internet service providers from being able to charge content companies to speed the rate of their downloads. The court ruled the FCC doesn’t have the authority to prevent the practice of “discrimination” because it hasn’t classified broadband Internet as a “common-carrier” service, like traditional phone service. The Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has now suggested that he has no immediate plans to formally reinstate his agency’s net-neutrality regulations. Instead, Wheeler touted the benefits of waiting for abuses to occur and then cracking down on a case-by-case basis. The FCC chief said he favours addressing problems “in a dynamic rather than a static way.”



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