Daily Management Review

FCC's Net Neutrality implemented across US


An appeal by broadband providers to temporarily ban the implementation of Net Neurality rules was turned down by the US court.

The US Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules will take effect on Friday as planned after a federal court rejected requests by wireless and broadband industry groups to delay the implementation.
The three-judge panel gave the go-ahead to net neutrality at the  US Court of Appeals and the new set of net neutrality rules will be implemented from 12 June. Amongst other things, the net neutrality rule suggests and considers broadband as a public utility, taking away the power to slow down or block internet traffic from the broadband providers. The broadband providers meanwhile rallied to a delay in the rule implementation as the FCC is currently facing several lawsuits over the rules, which were approved by a 3-2 vote in February.
The Net neutrality rule provides government with the authority to regulate Internet infrastructure as a public utility. Net neutrality also bans Internet service providers (ISP) from offering paid priority services to certain companies. The rules meant that such priority services could provide certain companies unfair advantage and will lead to a polarized Internet culture. FCC, as expected, was jubilant over the ruling. The agency chairman Tom Wheeler called the ruling on Thursday a huge victory for Internet consumers and innovators.
"Starting Friday, there will be a referee on the field to keep the Internet fast, fair and open," he said. "Blocking, throttling, pay-for-priority fast lanes and other efforts to come between consumers and the Internet are now things of the past,” he noted.
Though the FCC's rules were adopted in February, it was finally published by the government in April. Even during the hearing broadband providers noted that they are willing to accept certain principles such as abolition of fast lanes for internet access to certain companies. But the broadband companies vehemently opposed the classification of broadband as a public utility. The opponents to FCC allege that such an approach would ultimately lead to government rate regulation and curb further investment in networks.
But supporters of net neutrality suggest that such rules would keep broadband providers at the place that they are supposed to be and not as the gatekeepers of the internet. Commercial exploitation of internet is something net neutrality supporters are afraid of.
The leading opponents in the appeal against FCC were AT&T, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the U.S. Telecom Association and the CTIA mobile trade group. They registered the suit against the FCC in April accusing the agency of overstepping its legitimate authority.
These groups were also behind the appeal to the court for the temporary ban on FCC’s net neutrality application.  The DC Circuit judges, on the recent appeal, stated that the Internet providers "have not satisfied the stringent requirements" to block the rules while their underlying lawsuit is pending.