U.S. Court Curbs F.C.C. Authority on Web Traffic

Yesterday's Federal Court decision is a serious setback for net neutrality and the efforts to maintain equal access to content on the internet. It is a setback for both consumers and creators, and a threat to innovation in general. It also underscores the importance of court appointments. In short, it seriously curbs the FCC's power and its ability to set the agenda for an open and free internet and the hope of media democracy. The NY Times reports:

A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that regulators had limited power over Web traffic under current law. The decision will allow Internet service companies to block or slow specific sites and charge video sites to deliver their content faster to users.

Wondering what you can do? FreePress notes: The FCC needs to “reclassify” broadband under the Communications Act. In 2002, the FCC decided to place broadband providers outside the legal framework that traditionally applied to companies that offer two-way communications services, like phone companies.

That decision is what first put Net Neutrality in jeopardy, setting in motion the legal wrangling that now endangers the FCC's ability to protect our Internet rights.

But the good news is that the FCC still has the power to set things right, and to make sure the free and open Internet stays that way. And once we’ve done that, the FCC can ensure that Comcast can’t interfere with our communications, no matter the platform.

SaveTheInternet has a good overview here that links to a letter you can send to the FCC.

After that, if you haven't already,  please join and follow Public Knowledge, Free Press, Electronic Freedom Foundation, and Save The Internet.