The FCC Is Going to Write All New Net Neutrality Rules

Illustration for article titled The FCC Is Going to Write All New Net Neutrality Rules

It's official: The FCC isn't going to appeal the net neutrality ruling. Instead, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is just going to be writing a whole new set of rules. Supposedly, the new regulations would still ensure that that Internet service providers wouldn't be able to charge companies an additional fee to reach customers at faster speeds.

The original ruling outlined the same stipulations meant to ensure that telecom companies couldn't favor certain types of web traffic over others, but it was ultimately rejected because the FCC had "chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers." In other words, it had referred to broadband as an information service, distinguishing it from common carriers such as telephone providers. And that tiny, little distinction was net neutrality's Achilles heel.


It's not all bad news, though. The court did agree that the FCC was within its rights in regulating broadband access (i.e. ensuring telecom companies don't play favorites), so it can use that as a starting point for enforcing non-discrimination/blocking regulations. There's still quite a bit of nail-biting left to be done, though, as the FCC said that it likely won't complete the new set of rules until late spring at the earliest. [Reuters]

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Which is a much, much better solution than trying to appeal, seeing as the ruling issued by the court probably would have been backed all the way to the top, primarily because it was the correct ruling.

Remember, the ruling wasn't that Net Neutrality was unconstitutional or that the FCC didn't have the right to enforce Net Neutrality. The ruling was that the FCC couldn't apply rules it had written for specific types of entities to entities it had explicitly said were not those specific types of entities.