US Court of Appeals Upholds FCC Net Neutrality Laws

On Tuesday, July 14th, the US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC upheld the government’s net neutrality rules in a 2-1 ruling. The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) rules force internet providers such as Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast to treat all online traffic equally. This keeps internet providers from favoring their own services or partners while disadvantaging others. More specifically, the court’s ruling “upholds the FCC’s authority to regulate broadband service as a utility, much like phone service, and to forbid what it considers unreasonable practices.” This means that the court is equating the internet with utilities, one of the most regulated aspects of everyday commerce.

Although Judges David Tatel and Sri Srinivasan ruled in favor of the FCC, Judge Stephen Williams stated that the FCC failed to “offer a reasoned basis” that a lack of net neutrality was a problem. In his dissent, he wrote that by regulating internet providers like “natural monopolies,” the FCC is providing “little economic space for new firms seeking market entry or relatively small firms seeking expansion through innovations.”

At this point in time, it is difficult to determine what effect this ruling will have on internet services for consumers. Professor Christopher Yoo of the University of Pennsylvania speculates that consumers might expect highers prices for some services or some services may be dropped altogether. It is also possible that consumers might not notice any effect since the FCC’s rules have been in place since June 2015.

For more information, you can read….
Yahoo Finance’s article: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/u-appeals-court-rejects-challenge-142305343.html
or Star Telegram’s article: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/business/article83648927.html#emlnl=Daily_News_Update

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