April 8, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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A US federal court today ruled that the FCC had overstepped its bounds in requiring Internet providers to avoid discriminating against particular kinds of traffic. A judge said that current rules didn’t give enough authority to change Comcast’s traffic management or otherwise dictate equal treatment, potentially letting Comcast revert back to its prior scheme without repercussions. Former FCC chairman Kevin Martin had argued that net neutrality principles established in 2005 were enough precedent to prevent blocks against BitTorrent or otherwise intensive traffic.

The decision is a possible but not certain setback for the FCC, which hopes to codify net neutrality as part of its National Broadband Plan. To enforce its beliefs, the FCC would have to have Internet access classified as “common carriage” like phone service and thus make it illegal to prevent other services from running on the same network.

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