FCC’s Net Neutrality Gets Shot Down… For Now!

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) effort to regulate companies that provide Internet access came to halt yesterday. In 2008 FCC sanctioned Comcast for slowing Internet trafic on its network for those that use peer-to-peer file sharing services (like BitTorrent) to download large files.

Although, BitTorrent and Comcast settled the dispute, FCC fined Comcast for violating the its network neutrality guidelines against content discrimination. The issue at hand was how far FCC could go to dictate the way other Internet providers such as AT&T and Verizon manage traffic on their networks.

FCC argued that it had “ancillary authority” to regulate internet service providers, which the court overturned. The court judged that under the current law, FCC’s reach does not extend to the Internet. Any change would have to come via congressional legislation.

In fact, the courts have consistently pushed by FCC’s attempts to overstep its domain. The courts recognize that net neutrality is a property rights issue.

This is good news, not only for Internet users but for taxpayers as a whole. Policies of net neutrality would inevitably result in a slower and more congested Internet. Worse yet, the Internet’s expansion will falter as new investment will be less inviting.