In what could be a blow to the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Net Neutrality and National Broadband Plan initiatives, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled that the FCC does not have the authority to force Internet providers to grant equal treatment to all traffic traversing their networks.
Comcast Corporation v. Federal Communications Commission and United States of America hinged on whether or not the FCC, “has authority to regulate an Internet service provider’s network management practices.” The FCC was attempting to stop Comcast from interfering with its customer’s use of peer-to-peer networking applications.
The FCC, which admitted that “it has no express statutory authority over such practices,” had based its argument on section 4(i) of the 1934 Communications Act, which allows the FCC to “perform any and all acts, make such rules and regulations, and issue such orders, not inconsistent with this chapter, as may be necessary in the execution of its functions.”
In its decision (PDF), the Court wrote that the FCC “has failed to tie its assertion of ancillary authority over Comcast’s Internet service to any ‘statutorily mandated responsibility.’”
Expect an appeal.
Via the LA Times