Noah J Nelson on Tuesday, Jan. 14th
The most significant court decision yet in the long struggle between advocates of an open Internet and Internet Service Producers over the power of the Federal Communications Commission to regulate online activity has resulted in a win for ISPs.
At issue is the principle of “net neutrality,” which means that service providers can’t play favorites with content providers. No charging Netflix a little more so that their traffic gets priority, for instance. Until today these were the rules that ISPs had to operate under.
Net neutrality has been set aside–for the moment, at least–as Federal Court of Appeals Judge David Tatel ruled that while the FCC should have some power to regulate the Internet, current law does not grant them that power.
While the FCC has the ability to appeal the decision, pushing the question to a higher court, the fate of net neutrality in America likely lies with that bastion of democracy: the United States Congress.