Big Blow To Net Neutrality

In breaking news, a D.C. Court of Appeals panel ruled 2-1 that the FCC’s rules aimed at ensuring “net neutralilty” by broadband providers exceeded its powers because it has failed to treat the medium as subject to common carrier principles. The problem could be “cured” by a reclassification of broadband providers by the FCC itself, or a clarification of FCC powers by Congress, but for the moment, it’s a big win for Verizon and Comcast and other broadband biggies.

I wasn’t living online when “net neutrality” exploded on the scene as a signature issue for the blogosphere, so I’m by no means an expert. Indeed, I’m not sure whether I should be more concerned about the implications of this decision as a consumer or as a producer of online content. But the decision will likely be appealed to the full D.C. Circuit and/or the Supreme Court, unless net neutrality advocates decide operating within this decision’s guidance is a safer path to pursue.

Readers who have participated in the net neutrality wars are invited to offer their take on the decision in the comment thread.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.