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Cable Companies Don’t Have To Share Lines

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Today, the Supreme Court overturned a U.S. appeals court ruling saying that cable Internet lines are required to be open to competing Internet Service Providers.

This ruling is based on a Federal Communications Commission decision that was made three years ago that classified broadband Internet as an information service, which means that it is not subject to access requirements.

Cable Companies Don't Have To Share Lines

The U.S. appeals court had overturned the FCC’s ruling, but the Supreme Court justices voted 6-3 against the appeals court’s decision. CNN Money writes:

On the losing side are small Internet service providers, including Earthlink, consumer rights groups, and a host of local governments.

At issue in the case, FCC v. Brand X, was whether cable operators should be required under federal law to lease their cable lines to competitors, much the way local phone companies were forced years ago to open up their lines to long-distance phone companies.

The big boy cable companies such as Time Warner, Cox Communications, and Charter Communications are the companies that will benefit from the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Aspects of the ISP industry that are at stake include smaller companies’ ability to compete, the speed at which broadband service is able to become available, and the price at which it will be offered.

DSL offered by phone companies is still considered to be a telecommunications service, and is not subject to the new ruling. Phone companies are still required to share lines with other providers.

Cable companies are now likely to dominate the entire market. Much of the public is outraged by the ruling, and thinks that they should be able to choose their own ISP.

Chris is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

Cable Companies Don’t Have To Share Lines
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