Net Neutrality Ruling Finally Rights a Terrible Wrong

Author: Michael Copps
Coverage Type: op-ed
Common Cause, 1133 19th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States

[Commentary] “For the reasons set forth is this opinion, we deny the petitions for review.” Those were the sweetest words I’ve heard in a long while, as the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit turned down the ridiculous efforts of the big telecom companies to derail the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet — or “net neutrality” — rules.

The decision capped years of struggle between open-internet advocates and the cable and telecom conglomerates. Without strong net-neutrality rules, broadband providers could exercise intolerable levels of gatekeeper control over what users can do, see and say online. The FCC rules just affirmed by the court prevent them from playing favorites by slowing down or even blocking particular websites and applications. This victory is a testament to the indefatigable work of millions of advocates across the nation who set out to correct a heinous mistake the FCC made 14 years ago. The facts and law were always on the public’s side, and now the court has upheld every word of the FCC’s new soundly based rules. The ruling affirms, for all to see, that the FCC does indeed have the legal authority it needs to protect the people’s interest in an open internet.

[Copps is a former commissioner and acting chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, where he served from 2001–11]



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