The Federal Communications Commission does not have the legal authority to slap Net neutrality regulations on Internet providers, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
A three-judge panel in Washington, D.C. unanimously tossed out the FCC’s August 2008 cease and desist order against Comcast, which had taken measures to slow BitTorrent transfers before voluntarily ending them earlier that year.
Because the FCC “has failed to tie its assertion” of regulatory authority to an actual law enacted by Congress, the agency does not have the power to regulate an Internet provider’s network management practices, wrote Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
I bet they will either pass this in Congress using “reconciliation” or they will try and find another way.
Net neutrality proponents responded to Tuesday’s ruling by saying the FCC should slap landline-style regulations on Internet providers, which could involve price regulation, service quality controls, and technological mandates. The agency “should immediately start a proceeding bringing Internet access service back under some common carrier regulation,” Public Knowledge’s Gigi Sohn said. The Media Access Project said, without mentioning common carrier regulations directly, that the FCC must have the “ability to protect the rights of Internet users to access lawful content and services of their choice.”
In a statement on Tuesday, the FCC indicated that it was thinking along the same lines. The DC Circuit did not “close the door to other methods for achieving this important end,” the agency said. A spokeswoman declined to elaborate.
Aha! I guess I was right huh? Here comes the lobbying that will begin again in earnest. We do not need to grant the government even more unconstitutional powers. You heard me UNCONSTITUTIONAL this was not the intent of the commerce clause and they have not amended the Constitution.