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Federal Court Kills Net Neutrality, Says FCC Lacks Authority. 383

Posted by timothy
from the we'll-have-to-agree-to-disagree dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to a report from Gizmodo, a U.S. Appeals Court has invalidated the FCC's Net Neutrality rules. From the decision: 'Given that the Commission has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers, the Communications Act expressly prohibits the Commission from nonetheless regulating them as such. Because the Commission has failed to establish that the anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules do not impose per se common carrier obligations, we vacate those portions of the Open Internet Order.' Could this be the final nail in the coffin for Net Neutrality? Or will the FCC fight back? This submitter really, really hopes they fight back..."
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Federal Court Kills Net Neutrality, Says FCC Lacks Authority.

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  • My cynical take. (Score:5, Informative)

    by koan (80826) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @12:40PM (#45952209)

    The FCC won't fight back, in fact this result was probably the intention along.

    Prior to joining the FCC, Chairman Wheeler was Managing Director at Core Capital Partners, a venture capital firm investing in early stage Internet Protocol (IP)-based companies. He served as President and CEO of Shiloh Group, LLC, a strategy development and private investment company specializing in telecommunications services and co-founded SmartBrief, the internet’s largest electronic information service for vertical markets. From 1976 to 1984, Chairman Wheeler was associated with the National Cable Television Association (NCTA), where he was President and CEO from 1979 to 1984. Following NCTA, Chairman Wheeler was CEO of several high tech companies, including the first company to offer high speed delivery of data to home computers and the first digital video satellite service. From 1992 to 2004, Chairman Wheeler served as President and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA).

    http://www.fcc.gov/leadership/tom-wheeler [fcc.gov]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @12:47PM (#45952335)

    Sigh... if only the 'lefty" judges assigned to this case hadn't AGREED WITH VERIZON...

    Seriously, apparently the only dissenting opinion is from the Reagan appointee

  • by vux984 (928602) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @12:49PM (#45952369)

    You have a choice, you can choose to move to where there is a different ISP.

    Like Canada.

  • by gl4ss (559668) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:05PM (#45952655) Homepage Journal

    uh isp's were already throttling competing video services while not counting their own service against the throttle allowances.

    that is quite simply the whole reason for the whole debate.

    imagine if google as an isp would throttle netflix unusable and just allowing google video - or throttling bing search unusable. that's the scenario.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:06PM (#45952665) Homepage

    It was ALWAYS a tool to impose government control over the internet.

    Yeah, it's not like the government had control over the Internet before. Except for:
    - when it was run by the Department of Defense for the early part of its existence
    - when it was opened up to the public by then-Senator Al Gore and placed under the jurisdiction of the FCC
    - when they paid AT&T to build and improve the network
    - when Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton tried to stop all Internet pornography
    - when the FBI created Echelon under the Clinton administration
    - when Admiral Poindexter started the Total Information Awareness project in 2001
    - when the NSA cooperated with Google and AT&T and Verizon and a bunch of other major corporations to spy on everybody..

    So clearly Net Neutrality was the thin wedge that was going to give government control of the Internet, right?

  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:09PM (#45952715)

    I have exactly two options. AT&T (whose fastest speed in my area, last time I checked, was 6mbps) and Comcast, which is my only option for anything over 6mpbs.

    So yeah, whole lotta competition to choose from.

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:12PM (#45952755)

    No, that's a franchise monopoly.

    A natural monopoly isn't granted, it's simply the situation that occurs when economic factors hand such an advantage to incumbents that no other may effectively compete.

    Franchise monopoly: City government goes to Big Cable Co and says 'you, and only you, are permitted to run cables in this city.'
    Natural monopoly: Big Cable Co invests in a load of cable-laying. As they are the only choice, they secure every subscriber. When others wish to enter the market, they realize that they'd also have to spend just as much in cable-laying, but that everyone who wants internet service is already a Big Cable Co customer, and switching is a lot of trouble - there's no way they could make back the cost of digging up the roads and laying cable as a newcomer to the market.

  • Re:common carrier (Score:5, Informative)

    by Spazmania (174582) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:35PM (#45953159) Homepage

    The legislation required was passed decades ago. The FCC has the authority to designate a communications service either a common carrier or an information service.

  • by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:38PM (#45953211) Homepage

    In this case, Obama's FCC is fighting against Verizon and other telecom companies and defending net neutrality. But don't let basic facts right in front of your face influence your pre-prepared bullshit.

  • Re:common carrier (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @02:56PM (#45954689)

    Can someone explain why they didn't just do this instead? Does this classification require legislation or something?

    They didn't do this because Congress explicitly exempted Internet businesses from Common Carrier classification (known as Title II).

    The FCC has several times since tried to classify ISPs as common carriers, but Congress (almost certainly due to lobbying) has refused to allow it.

    I definitely agree. Classifying ISPs as Title II Common Carriers would eliminate a great many of today's ills. It would just take enough people to badger Congress (or alternatively, a Congress with the cojones to stand up to lobbyists) to do it.

  • Re:common carrier (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @03:05PM (#45954891)

    The FCC has the authority to designate a communications service either a common carrier or an information service. Reply to This Share

    In the GENERAL case, yes. But Congress specifically exempted Internet businesses from Title II. It was one of the stupidest things Congress has ever done, and the decision was (of course) prompted by lobbyist money.

  • by rahvin112 (446269) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @03:36PM (#45955507)

    I cannot believe how common this misconception is. A franchise agreement CANNOT stop an over-builder. That would be a major violation of the constitution, particularly equal protection under the law. Such localities that have tried to do so have been sued into oblivion by the over-builder. Local government cannot legally exclude a public utility from using public ROW without violating equal protection. What a franchise agreement DOES do is streamline the process of building and installing. For example a general permit for construction is issued rather than requiring an separate construction permit for every day (or section) of work in the ROW.

    So yes, the franchise agreement is a valuable commodity but it is NOT a prohibition on secondary providers using the ROW.

  • Re:leftists.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by fredprado (2569351) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @03:50PM (#45955783)
    Reagan was more right wing than 90% of today's republicans, my friend, and that is exactly what made him a great president. He was far from perfect, but was still better by far than anything that came after him.

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