U.S. Court of Appeals Gives the FCC a Sweeping Victory,
Net Neutrality Rules Likely to Stick This Time
On June 14, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit-arguably the second most influential court in the nation-upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) latest attempt to establish regulation on broadband Internet service providers (ISPs). The court’s 2-1 opinion allows the FCC to claim a significant victory in classifying broadband Internet access service (BIAS) as a utility governed under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. The 100+ page decision also vexes the ISPs that hoped less onerous Title I classification would be restored.
The review of the recent court decision requires a brief review of the history of net neutrality at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The FCC order under review was the 2015 Open Internet Order that established a set of regulations designed to ensure ISPs would not restrict the flow of information over the Internet. This review was the third time in seven years where the court has examined the FCC’s rationale for regulating ISPs.
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