Net Neutrality Upheld: No Blocking, Throttling or Fast Lanes, Cisco Slams

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The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit released their ruling today upholding the FCC's current Net Neutrality rules.

The ruling stated:

But nothing about affording indiscriminate access to internet content suggests that the broadband provider agrees with the content an end user happens to access. Because a broadband provider does not—and is not understood by users to—“speak” when providing neutral access to internet content as common carriage, the First Amendment poses no bar to the open internet rules.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and the FCC praised the ruling:

Cisco Slams Ruling:

“Cisco is disappointed in the DC Circuit’s decision to uphold the FCC’s open Internet rules.

We believe in an open Internet and that balanced rules to protect consumers and prevent anti-competitive behavior are necessary and appropriate. But uncertain regulation under Title II, as provided for by the FCC and upheld by this court, diminishes the enthusiasm for new investments in broadband networks and limits new innovation and business models.

This is particularly true at a time when the Internet continues to evolve and innovative new services are coming to market every day, including Internet of Things technologies, telemedicine, distance learning, emergency services, and mobile 5G.

One bright spot. The FCC rules do recognize that the open internet rules are not appropriate for enterprise networks and specialized services. This will enable new services to obtain the quality of service needed to foster innovation in these areas, and we anticipate that entrepreneurs will explore both of these options going forward.

The discussion over these issues is not going away because the Internet ecosystem continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace. Policymakers need to remain focused on ensuring that these rules support the development of new technologies and business models.”

Part of a dissent published in the ruling concluded:

The ultimate irony of the Commission’s unreasoned patchwork is that, refusing to inquire into competitive conditions, it shunts broadband service onto the legal track suited to natural monopolies. Because that track provides little economic space for new firms seeking market entry or relatively small firms seeking expansion through innovations in business models or in technology, the Commission’s decision has a decent chance of bringing about the conditions under which some (but by no means all) of its actions could be grounded—the prevalence of incurable monopoly.

I would vacate the Order.

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