I think it’s safe to say that broadband providers weren’t very pleased when the FCC announced its net neutrality rules, and when I say that, I mean they’ve been doing anything and everything in their power to try and get the rules changed or removed entirely. Yesterday, the FCC had to defend its rules against these broadband providers in front of a United States appeals court in a hearing that lasted more than three hours. Last year, the same appeals court ruled that, while the FCC used the wrong legal reasoning for implementing the rules, protecting net neutrality is essential to preventing broadband providers from harming Internet openness.
A U.S. appeals court heard arguments on Friday over the legality of the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules, in a case that may ultimately determine how consumers get access to content on the Internet. The fight is the latest battle over Obama administration rules requiring broadband providers to treat all data equally, rather than giving or selling access to a so-called Web “fast lane.” A three-judge panel, in a hearing that lasted over three hours, questioned lawyers for the FCC and broadband backers about whether the FCC properly extended the sweeping authority it has to regulate telecommunications to Internet service providers. So-called net neutrality is a major issue for broadband providers like Verizon Communications Inc and Comcast Corp, which fear the rules may make it harder to manage Internet traffic and make investment to provide additional capacity less likely. It is also a big concern for content providers like Netflix Inc and Yelp Inc, worried that access to customers could be limited without net neutrality. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled twice against the FCC since 2010 and Judge David Tatel, who wrote both opinions, is on the panel that heard the case.