Tuesday, April 6, 2010

FCC and Net Neutrality

A federal appeals court ruled that the FCC did not have jurisdiction to discipline Comcast Corp. for interrupting or slowing Internet service to customers who used the high-bandwidth application BitTorrent.

The unanimous decision by the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia immediately thrust into question the FCC's authority to mandate "open Internet" regulations.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski released this year the national plan that seeks to extend the Internet to millions of rural and poor households and boost Internet speeds. This decision leaves the FCC few legal options to implement the plan, which took months to formulate. One option might be new legislation, but this doesn't seem likely.

"The FCC is firmly committed to promoting an open Internet and to policies that will bring the enormous benefits of broadband to all Americans," FCC spokeswoman Jen Howard said in a statement. "It will rest these policies... on a solid legal foundation."

The decision is here: