US FCC SAYS IT WILL SOON REBOOT NET NEUTRALITY Wheeler Now Decides Against Declaring Internet Access a Utility
Last month, the US DC Appeals Court ruled against the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and in favor of Verizon in a case widely perceived as providing the legal basis for or against a concept that has come to be known as “net neutrality”, i.e., not favoring anyone on the Internet, e.g., not charging for faster speeds, etc. A report in The Verge summarized the verdict: “The DC court once again rules against the FCC, striking down its anti-blocking and anti-discrimination requirements in an almost complete victory for Verizon. The court says that the FCC has proven that broadband providers represent a threat to internet openness, but that the government can’t impose common carrier rules on information service providers.”
At the time of the decision, it was widely reported that the FCC intended to appeal the verdict, an intention that was widely derided. Over many years, the FCC, under various political leadership, has chosen not to classify as a utility the delivery of Internet connectivity. Since such services were not a utility, the structure and mandate of the FCC indicated that the services could not be regulated by FCC rules. The court invited the FCC to try net neutrality again.