backersandopUS court clash on ‘Open Internet’ rules, version 3.0

December 4, 2015 by Rob Lever

Backers and opponents of “Open Internet” rules clashed Friday in a federal appeals court, in the third round of a battle on how US broadband providers may be regulated.

The so-called “net neutrality” case, one of the most hotly contested tech policy issues in Washington, tests whether online services like Netflix, Yelp and new startups should have equal access through Internet service firms like Verizon and AT&T.

Supporters of the rule argue that it is needed to ensure access to any type of online service without a gatekeeper, while critics say the FCC is using an antiquated, heavy-handed standard that will ultimately stifle a free Internet.

Two previous efforts by the US Federal Communications Commission were tossed out by the appellate court in Washington, but earlier this year the agency tried again with a new twist—reclassifying broadband firms as “common carriers” which can be regulated like phone companies under a 1934 law.
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