The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Columbia Circuit ruled on Tuesday rejecting the federal rules that required Internet providers to treat all web traffic equally. The court stated that the FCC does not have the authority to implement the rules. The rules were passed in 2010, and were challenged by Verizon.
The ruling is a blow to net neutrality, and opens the floodgates for internet service providers to charge different rates for different types of content – more for Netflix or other video streaming sites, or perhaps Facebook. Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.
Tom Wheeler (Chairman FCC): We will consider all available options, including those for appeal, to ensure that these networks on which the Internet depends continue to provide a free and open platform for innovation and expression, and operate in the interest of all Americans.
President Obama, whose 2008 campaign platform included net neutrality, said he will continue to work to to preserve a free and open Internet.
You can read more about net neutrality here.
You can find a copy of the court ruling here.
You can find a copy of FCC chairman Tom Wheeler’s statement here.