One year after ruling, FCC Open Internet rules hang in balance

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On January 14, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit threw out Federal Communications Commission rules that require Internet service providers to give all traffic equal access through their networks. One year later, the FCC is still working to update those rules.

“We are on the first anniversary right now of the rules having been struck down,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), an advocate for reclassifying broadband Internet service as a utility, said on the Senate floor. “There is nothing.”

The court ruled that because broadband Internet had been classified as an information service, as opposed to a telecommunications service, the FCC’s regulations were invalid. Since then, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has issued an initial proposal for new rules, the public submitted nearly 4 million comments on the subject, President Obama inserted himself into the debate and service providers threatened further litigation. Chairman Wheeler appears poised to issue regulations to reclassify broadband Internet as a utility, similar to traditional telephones, in order to impose the strongest rules possible to ensure that Internet service providers like Verizon and Comcast do not treat traffic to various websites differently.


One year after ruling, FCC Open Internet rules hang in balance