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FCC Internet Access Rule Holds Up in Appeals Court
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FCC net neutrality

Summary: The rule restricting internet service providers from how they sell access to web content was upheld by a federal appeals court.

Obama’s order barring internet service providers from obstructing consumer access to web content in any way has been upheld by a U.S. appeals court. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 to uphold the ruling against big cable and mobile phone companies.


Read F.C.C. and Verizon Battle in Court Whether the Internet Should be Free and Open.

The three-judge panel backed the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules placed last year to require internet service providers to treat internet traffic equally. The new rules stopped companies from giving or selling access to faster internet to certain services over others. The court viewed the internet as a public utility, opening the door to further government internet regulations.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, “Today’s ruling is a victory for the open, fair and free internet as we know it today – one that remains open to innovation and economic growth, without service providers serving as paid gatekeepers.”

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The providers that sued the administration over the restrictions plan to appeal to the full appellate court and even Supreme Court. They also plan to intensify their efforts to get Congress to limit the FCC’s authority.

See New FCC Rules on Loud TV Commercials Begin Tonight.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce business group says the FCC is “essentially transforming an entire industry, in this case the internet, from an innovative, lightly regulated enterprise that made huge investments into this country, into a public utility subject to the whims of regulators.”

Broadband companies like Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T worry that the rules will make it hard to manage internet traffic and make investment to increase capacity less likely. Verizon wants an open internet but a “reasonable, bipartisan legislation that would provide a stable framework for continued investment and innovation” is needed.

US Telecom led the legal challenge saying, “we believe will replace a consumer-driven internet with a government-run internet, threatening innovation and investment in years to come.”

Do you think the government should be controlling the internet? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about government control issues, read Apple Fights for Their Constitutional Rights.



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