Earlier this week, the federal appeals court for Washington DC in the United States “upheld the legal authority” behind the FCC’s Open Internet Order, also referred to as net neutrality rules. This decision represents a “major victory” for those who advocate for the Open Internet. The ruling forces Internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all web traffic equally, and prohibits broadband providers from “blocking or degrading internet traffic.” This ruling means that high-speed Internet service can be “defined as a utility,” indicating how essential broadband is in today’s life, and that it should be available to everyone in America.
This ruling is a blow to large cable and telecomm companies. Some carriers are not a fan of these rules, and AT&T announced they’d appeal the ruling, and expected the Supreme Court to decide. They have opposed similar efforts in the past.
Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the FCC and the one behind this ruling, described it as “victory for consumers and innovators who deserve unfettered access to the entire web.” Other industry groups were also pleased. The President & CEO of CCIA Ed Black said the following on their site: “This is a huge, historic victory for all Internet users. This affirmation of the FCC’s Open Internet Order ensures that the Internet will remain an open platform that empowers consumers, supercharges competition and serves as a catalyst for economic growth…” (read more).
At Golden Frog, we believe very strongly in the Open Internet, and feel the court ruled properly. We are in support of this ruling, and you can learn more about our stance on the Open Internet in our Vision Paper.