Appeals Court Strikes Down 'Net Neutrality'
Posted: January 15, 2014 by Emily Brown
A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. struck down the FCC's 'net neutrality' rules on Tuesday, taking Verizon's side in a case that could let Internet providers block, slow, charge or otherwise mess with Internet access based on customers' or companies' usage.
In the meantime, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission – the agency supposed to protect Internet users and oversee communications networks) couldn't do anything, but appeal the ruling.
Years from now, the FCC has tried to make sure that broadband Web service providers not discriminate against certain websites or services, and treat all web traffic equally. In other words, they have made efforts to preserve the Internet as we know it, i.e., everyone can browse whenever and download whatever they want when they go online.
But all these noble efforts seems to have come to an end yesterday as D.C. Circuit Court's judges passed on a ruling based on a technicality. Even though they appeared to sympathize with the FCC's attempt to maintain Web traffic equality, they unequivocally determined that the agency currently lacks the authority to implement and to enforce the 'net neutrality' rules.
Now that the ruling has been passed, it allows Internet providers, the likes of Verizon, to charge different tier prices for different types of services, or to limit traffic speeds for certain users or sites.
However, while there is a global panic of whether the Internet will remain open or not, Verizon says it "will reiterates its commitment to the open Internet" and the service will only get better.