The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Verizon v. FCC. The court has found that the FCC does not have the regulatory authority to prevent internet service providers (ISPs) from making some traffic run faster or blocking some internet services altogether, a regulatory scheme known as “net neutrality.” The agency lacks this authority because ISPs are not classified as “common carriers,” which must pass information through their networks without preferences.
The judge did rule that the FCC has some authority to regulate service providers; in fact, he left disclosure requirements that Verizon had opposed in place. The FCC has not yet disclosed whether it will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court or issue new regulations, although FCC chair Tom Wheeler has stated that the FCC is committed to ensuring that the internet “continue[s] to provide a free and open platform for innovation and expression, and operate[s] in the interest of all Americans.”
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