Tuesday, April 6, 2010

US court rules against FCC on `net neutrality'

clipped from news.yahoo.com
People use computers at an internet cafe in Wuhan

WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission lacks the authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks.

The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is a big victory for Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable company. It had challenged the FCC's authority to impose so-called "net neutrality" obligations on broadband providers.

The ruling also marks a serious setback for the FCC, which is trying to officially set net neutrality regulations. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski argues that such rules are needed to prevent phone and cable companies from using their control over Internet access to favor some online content and services over others.

The court case centered on Comcast's challenge of a 2008 FCC order banning the company from blocking its broadband subscribers from using an online file-sharing technology known as BitTorrent.
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