Kiss Net Neutrality Good-Bye
by Deacon Blues
A three-judge panel of the DC Court of Appeals just eviscerated the FCC's ability to regulate the internet, and destroyed net neutrality.
A federal appeals court on Tuesday dealt a sharp blow to the efforts of the Federal Communications Commission to set the rules of the road for the Internet, ruling that the agency lacks the authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks.
The judges, including Reagan appointee and Ken Starr-enabler David Sentelle, George H. W. Bush appointee A. Raymond Randolph, and Clinton appointee David Tatel ruled that the FCC lacked specific jurisdiction to regulate high-speed internet providers.
Consumer advocates said the ruling, one of several that have challenged the F.C.C.’s regulatory reach, could also undermine all of the F.C.C.’s efforts to regulate Internet service providers and establish its authority over the Internet, including its recently released national broadband plan.
“This decision destroys the F.C.C.’s authority to build broadband policy on the legal theory established by the Bush administration,” said Ben Scott, the policy director for Free Press, a nonprofit organization that advocates broad media ownership and access.
The decision could reinvigorate dormant efforts in Congress to pass a federal law specifically governing net neutrality, a principle generally supported by the Obama administration.
And if you think that this Congress is going to do anything to piss off Comcast, Google, and Verizon months before the 2010 midterms and risk campaign dollars, I have a bridge to sell you.