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Verizon v. Federal Communications Commission (FCC): Court Ruling on the FCC Effort to Compel Broadband Providers to Treat All Internet Traffic the Same (ńˇŁNet NeutralityńˇŁ)
David S. Tatel (au)
For the second time, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit was confronted with a Federal Communications Comm. (FCC) effort to compel broadband providers to treat all Internet traffic the same regardless of source -- or to require, as it is popularly known, ńˇýnet neutrality.ńˇŁ In Comcast Corp. v. FCC (D.C. Cir. 2010), the court held that the FCC had failed to cite any statutory authority that would justify its order compelling a broadband provider to adhere to open network management practices. After that ruling, the FCC issued the order challenged here, which imposes disclosure, anti-blocking, and anti-discrimination requirements on broadband providers. This court opinion explains that the FCC has established that it has been vested with affirmative authority to enact measures encouraging the deployment of broadband infrastructure. Further, the FCCńˇ╗s justification for the specific rules at issue here -- that they will preserve and facilitate the ńˇývirtuous circleńˇŁ of innovation that has driven the explosive growth of the Internet -- is reasonable and supported by substantial evidence. However, the FCC has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers, so they may not regulate them as such. Hence this court vacates those portions of the Open Internet Order. This is a print on demand report.
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