Tuesday, June 14, 2016

FCC wins big in court on network neutrality

Timothy B. Lee of Vox has explained a federal DC circuit ruling  (a 2-1 decision) today allowing the Federal Communications Commission to impose network neutrality on major telecomm providers.  The court agreed that, after all previous litigation was said and done, that the FCC has the legal right to declare that it regular major providers as telecommunications companies and not information providers.

 Therefore, if a company like Comcast Xfinity provides basic telecommunications (cable and broadband Internet and digital voice) and chooses also to provide email and news stories, it still has to follow net neutrality rules as far as the use of its network is concerned.  Facebook, since it doesn’t provide a hardware backbone, would not.  (Google could be getting close to the line with its fiber optic experiments.)

Cecila Kang of the New York Times writes that the Court found that the Internet as a utility, not a luxury.