New Zealand Law Society - US court upholds net neutrality rules

US court upholds net neutrality rules

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The United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has upheld Federal Communications Commission regulations to compel internet openness - commonly known as net neutrality.

However, opponents of the FCC rules say they will be appealing the decision to the US Supreme Court.

In United States Telecom Association v Federal Communications Commission, decided on 14 June 2016, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals majority found that the FCC could reclassify broadband service as a telecommunications service. This provides the FCC with the ability to regulate openness on the internet.

The "United States Telecom Association" is a trade association which includes AT&T and Verizon as members. It had taken court action against FCC saying its rules would inflict the internet with "heavy-handed, public utility-style regulation designed for 19th century railroads and 1930s telephone monopolies".

The issue has major importance with the growth of streaming services delivered on broadband. The FCC Open Internet measures aimed to prohibit internet service providers from blocking and slowing the transmission of content and from using "paid prioritisation" to require payment to ISPs for faster delivery of content.

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