Net Neutrality Rules for Internet Access Upheld by Federal Appeals Court

The rules prohibit broadband providers from blocking, slowing or selling faster delivery of legal content flowing through their networks to consumers.

by Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times / June 14, 2016

(TNS) — A federal appeals court Tuesday upheld tough new regulations for online traffic in a major victory for President Barack Obama and a blow to telecommunications companies, which challenged the net neutrality rules.

The District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission last year on a partisan 3-2 vote after Obama urged their passage.

Two previous attempts by the FCC to set net neutrality regulations were thrown out by federal judges.

The regulations were proposed by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and strongly backed by Obama, who publicly interjected himself into the independent agency’s deliberations.

The rules prohibit broadband providers from blocking, slowing or selling faster delivery of legal content flowing through their networks to consumers.

Twice before courts have thwarted the FCC’s efforts to establish net neutrality rules. So this time the FCC decided to classify high-speed internet as a telecommunications service under Title 2 of the federal Communications Act, subjecting it to utility-like oversight and giving the agency more enforcement authority.

Wheeler promised a light-handed approach, and the rules exempt broadband providers from rate regulation and other more onerous provisions of Title 2 that apply to conventional phone service providers.

But companies have complained that the door is open for tougher regulation, which they warn would hinder investment in expanded networks.

Among those who challenged the rules are AT&T, CTIA, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, CenturyLink, the American Cable Association., U.S. Telecom and the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association.

©2016 Los Angeles Times. Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
 

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