Earlier this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit upheld the Network Neutrality Rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2015. A number of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Mobile Wireless Carriers brought suit following the Net Neutrality orders, alleging the FCC did not have the authority to regulate the Internet under its congressional mandate.
Net Neutrality effectively regulates ISPs as a telecom the same as traditional phone companies. The FCC’s rules were intended to ensure an open Internet, free from ISP imposed throttling or filtering that might block content or limit speeds when consumers use certain websites. Further, ISPs cannot unfairly encourage consumers towards services or purchases that benefit the business interests of the ISP.
The 2-1 ruling likely means the FCC will start to implement Net Neutrality rules and possibly create new regulations for ISPs. Many speculate some ISPs will take the case to the Supreme Court or to a different appellate circuit.