From The Washington Post:
The Federal Communications Commission said Wednesday it will rewrite sweeping broadband Internet rules known as net neutrality, ending a legal battle that has thrown into question the agency’s ability to protect consumers on the Web.
The FCC said new rules will ban Internet service providers such as Verizon and Time Warner Cable from blocking Web sites or charging a firm like Netflix more for faster and smoother delivery of content.
The move comes after a federal appeals court last month vacated the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet rules. The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the agency overstepped its authority with the rules but also noted that the agency has some oversight over the broadband industry.
Statements by FCC Commissioners About Open Internet
“We have always focused on providing our customers with the services and experience they want, and this focus has not changed,” Ed McFadden, a spokesman for New York-based Verizon, said in an e-mailed statement today.
The FCC has said that without rules to ensure equal access to the Internet, service providers could favor wealthier, established players over startups, squelching innovation.
Last month, the D.C. Circuit struck down the rules, saying the FCC was inappropriately treating broadband providers as “common carriers.” Traditional phone lines, railroads, airlines, and other services are considered common carriers and must offer service to everyone.
But the court also upheld broad FCC authority to regulate broadband Internet under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act. The provision allows the agency to encourage the deployment of broadband networks and promote competition.