Net Neutrality Fight Returns to Court

Verizon and Metro PCS sued the Federal Communications Commission last year over its net neutrality rules. At the time a judge dismissed their lawsuits because the rules had yet to be finalized. After the new net neutrality rules went to effect, the two companies reasserted themselves and re-filed lawsuits. Last Thursday the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that their cases can now move forward.

In April of 2010 a three-judge panel from the same court shot down a 2008 FCC order that sanctioned Comcast for its treatment of BitTorrent traffic. The panel ruled at the time that the FCC didn't have broadband regulatory authority under its Title I “ancillary” jurisdiction. When it wrote its new net neutrality rules, it tried to take this ruling into account because it knew it would be back in court defending its authority.

If the FCC loses at the District Court, the fight would have to be taken up before the Supreme Court. If the District Court rules the way it did last time, the FCC could be stripped of its authority to regulate the cable, DSL and wireless Internet providers.

Source: GIGAom

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