Net neutrality suffers another blow as court rules in favor of Comcast

A US federal court of appeals today struck down a 2008 FCC sanction against Comcast for blocking P2P channels from its customers. The overruling stated that the Federal Communications Commission does not have the authority to "regulate an Internet service provider's network management practice." 

The D.C. Court of Appeals stated that the FCC, a US government telecommunications regulation agency, does not explicitly have the legal power to require internet service providers to supply equal and uncensured traffic over their networks. 

The FCC originally used their four-part "Internet Policy Statement" against Comcast in 2008, citing that they were in violation of "reasonable network management" because of their hand in traffic discrimination and ordered the US-based internet provider to stop. Comcast appealed the FCC's case to the court and asserted that they did not have the authority to regulate their network because the "Internet Policy Statement" was just a set of guidelines that had no legal bearing over them or the industry. The court today agreed with them, stipulating that the US Congress gave them no authority to sanction Comcast for their practices.

The FCC has been a strong proponent of net neutrality and the current chairman Julius Genachowski is heading an effort from Congress and the courts to make its net neutrality principles enforceable. The FCC will unquestionably be appealing the ruling and will continue to try and get legislative support from Congress to make net neutrality law in the United States.

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