Court of appeals denies stay; 'net neutrality' rules take effect
Jun 11, 2015 11:05 pm
"Net neutrality," the Federal Communication Commission's reclassification of ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act took effect at midnight June 12, 2015. Hours before on June 11, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied a stay sought by corporate carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast in the hopes of suspending the rules until their broader lawsuits against the FCC were settled. The carriers claimed the rules were "vague and onerous," and create "significant uncertainty about the introduction of new services" while "exposing providers to costly litigation." The U.S. Court of Appeals disagreed, writing, "Petitioners have not satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay pending court review." “This is a huge victory for Internet consumers and innovators," FCC chief Tom Wheeler wrote in a statement posted to the FCC website. "Starting Friday, there will be a referee on the field to keep the Internet fast, fair and open.... Blocking, throttling, pay-for-priority fast lanes and other efforts to come between consumers and the Internet are now things of the past. The rules also give broadband providers the certainty and economic incentive to build fast and competitive broadband networks." The FCC is regulating the portion of the airwaves used by internet providers, in the same way they enfore rules in regards to other portions of the spectrum, such as telephones. The court case seeking to overturn the net neutrality rules will take at least a year before a decision, and the presidential election next fall may determine if the rules will last, or if a Republican president and Congress will roll them back.