Washington, DC, United States (4E) – A federal appeals court in Washington on Tuesday threw out the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules for Internet neutrality.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2-1 ruling in response to a lawsuit by Verizon Communications said the FCC cannot prohibit Internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or discriminating against traffic to lawful websites because it classified Internet access as information service making ISPs exempted from being treated as common carriers under the the Communications Act.
The ruling is a setback to the Obama administration and Internet companies like Google and Netflix, which advocate open Internet. However, it is a victory for telecommunication companies like Verizon, which argued that the FCC’s net neutrality rules is burdensome and stifles market innovation.
Proponents of net neutrality had feared that a court ruling against the principle of open Internet would allow ISPs to charge content providers more when there is bigger traffic on their websites or they need broadband speed for their content.