FCCA U.S. appeals court yesterday upheld landmark federal rules preventing internet service providers from obstructing or slowing down consumer access to web content (via Reuters).

The backing for the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules came in a 2-1 decision by a three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The outcome reaffirms the law enforced last year that says ISPs must treat all internet traffic equally.

The rules prohibit broadband providers from giving or selling access to faster internet lanes for specific internet services, which the FCC claims will help protect freedom of expression and innovation on the internet.

The court also rejected legal arguments from telecommunications industry groups that the rules should not apply to mobile phone web use or that they violated the constitutional free-speech rights of internet service providers.

The court's decision in favor of the FCC means that it too considered the internet to be a public utility, and therefore subject to government regulations. White House spokesman Josh Earnest called the ruling "a victory for the open, fair, and free internet as we know it today," and one that barred service providers from becoming "paid gatekeepers".

The outcome will also be seen as a personal victory for President Barack Obama, who is a strong advocate of net neutrality rules, although ISPs have already said they plan to appeal to either the full appellate court or the Supreme Court over the ruling. Telecoms industry groups have also said they will continue with efforts to get Congress to limit the FCC's authority.

Netflix and Twitter were among the companies that praised the ruling, while Google and others have backed the rules. Democrats in Congress also lauded the decision to back the FCC rules, which have been in place since June 2015.

However, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce business group accused the FCC of "essentially transforming an entire industry... from an innovative, lightly regulated enterprise that made huge investments into this country, into a public utility subject to the whims of regulators."

South Dakota Republican John Thune, who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, said the decision upholds FCC restrictions "designed for the monopoly-telephone era" and asked the Republican-led Congress to step in to overturn a decision that results in "a highly political agency micromanaging the internet ecosystem."

US Telecom, the telecommunications industry trade association that led the legal challenge, said the court failed to recognize "the significant legal failings" of the FCC rules that "we believe will replace a consumer-driven internet with a government-run internet, threatening innovation and investment in years to come."

But FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler called the ruling "a victory for consumers and innovators who deserve unfettered access to the entire web" and claimed that it would ensure the internet remained "a platform for unparalleled innovation, free expression and economic growth."

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

Toutou Avatar
100 months ago
Well, I dunno about you guys in the US, but I'd say that the government regulating any business is the exact opposite of freedom. Be it your local grocery store or your ISP.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Glassed Silver Avatar
100 months ago
[...] or that they violated the constitutional free-speech rights of internet service providers.
Wow, the audacity these scumbags have...

Glassed Silver:mac
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
31 Flavas Avatar
100 months ago
Can't stand Net Neutrality. It's OrwellSpeak like Love is Hate or War is Peace. The complete opposite to what it stands for.

Why can't we pay for superior service? I don't want my service slowed to a crawl by scum downloading torrents and pirating. Do we insist that everyone has to travel at the speed of the slowest car? No. We have multiple lanes. Net Neutrality is the Democrats trying to impose socialism on us. They can bugger off.
That's not net neutrality. If you want superior service, you can buy superior service. However, if you or I buy superior service all data regardless of what it is (movie, music, game, etc) or what website it comes from should be delivered at that superior speed.

If I buy 50/10 up/down service, then I get that speed regardless of what the data is or where it is from.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac Fly (film) Avatar
100 months ago
That FCC badge looks like an effort from a baked student.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chown33 Avatar
100 months ago
I see what you did there.
Ω I.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Renzatic Avatar
100 months ago
It's almost like apps with in-apps. Yuck.
Kindasorta, yeah.

Though if you want to get into the more economically philosophical aspects of it, ISPs could prioritize their own services over 3rd parties, offering them up for less money, choking out their competition. Large internet services like Amazon and Facebook could do the same, paying for priority over a network, pushing out the little guys.

The way things are right now, where data is data, and ISPs don't concern themselves over what it is or where it came from unless it's effecting network stability, is the way the internet has always been ran, and the way it should always be ran. You get more competition, better quality services, and anyone can come up with the next big thing.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
samsung galaxy ring

'Apple Ring' Allegedly in Development to Rival Samsung Galaxy Ring

Tuesday February 20, 2024 2:27 am PST by
Apple is speeding up development of a smart ring that can be worn on the finger to track users' health biometrics, claims a new report coming out of Korea. Teaser image of Samsung Galaxy Ring shown at Galaxy Unpacked in January Apple has toyed with the idea of a ring wearable for several years, as indicated by several patents, but with Samsung preparing to bring its own product to market, the ...
volvo s60 drivers apple maps

iOS 17.4 Beta Adds CarPlay Option to Show Upcoming Maneuvers in Instrument Cluster

Tuesday February 20, 2024 10:47 am PST by
The fourth beta of iOS 17.4 that Apple released today adds a new CarPlay feature, according to the notes that Apple provided to developers. In supported CarPlay vehicles, there's now an Apple Maps option to show information about upcoming maneuvers in the instrument cluster. CarPlay users will be able to swap the display type between the main and instrument cluster by tapping on the map...
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

Apple's Upcoming OLED iPad Pro Models Rumored to Be Much Thinner

Tuesday February 20, 2024 1:39 pm PST by
Apple is planning to update the iPad Air and iPad Pro lineups as soon as March, and the new iPad Pro models will be significantly thinner according to dimensions shared by 9to5Mac. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, the site claims that the larger version will be more than 1mm thinner. The current 12.9-inch iPad Pro measures in at 6.4mm thick, but the new model is said to be 5mm ...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
m3 macbook pro 14 16

Apple Now Selling Refurbished M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pro Models

Monday February 19, 2024 5:04 pm PST by
Apple today began offering refurbished versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max chip options, offering the machines at a discount for the first time since their October 2023 release. The release of M3 Pro and M3 Max models on Apple's refurbished store comes almost two weeks after the entry-level 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro first appeared on the store....