Big win for Comcast as US court rules against FCC on authority to impose ‘Net Neutrality’

TiVo Premiere - Free Shipping“A federal court threw the future of Internet regulations and U.S. broadband expansion plans into doubt Tuesday with a far-reaching decision that went against the Federal Communications Commission,” Joelle Tessler reports for The Huffington Post. “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC lacks the authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks. That was a big victory for Comcast Corp., the nation’s largest cable company, which had challenged the FCC’s authority to impose such ‘Net neutrality’ obligations on broadband providers.”

“The ruling marks a serious setback for the FCC, which is trying to adopt official net neutrality regulations. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a Democrat, argues that such rules are needed to prevent phone and cable companies from using their control over Internet access to favor some online content and services over others,” Tessler reports “The decision also has serious implications for the massive national broadband plan released by the FCC last month. The FCC needs clear authority to regulate broadband in order to push ahead with some its key recommendations, including a proposal to expand broadband by tapping the federal fund that subsidizes telephone service in poor and rural communities.”

Tessler reports, “The court case centered on Comcast’s challenge of a 2008 FCC order banning the company from blocking its broadband subscribers from using an online file-sharing technology known as BitTorrent. The commission, at the time headed by Republican Kevin Martin, based its order on a set of Net-neutrality principles it adopted in 2005 to prevent broadband providers from becoming online gatekeepers. Those principles have guided the FCC’s enforcement of communications laws on a case-by-case basis.”

“But Comcast had argued that the FCC order was illegal because the agency was seeking to enforce mere policy principles, which don’t have the force of regulations or law. That is one reason that Genachowski is now trying to formalize those rules,” Tessler reports. “The cable company had also argued that the FCC lacks authority to mandate Net neutrality because it deregulated broadband in a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in 2005.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Robert S.” for the heads up.]


  1. How about we just have a political forum where all you aholes can post from dawn to dusk. No one cares about your one sided views. That goes for both ends.

  2. “Willing to spend more on an ISP that will let you BitTorrent 24/7? Choose that one and pay for it!”

    I live in Miami Beach, so let me chose.
    There’s Atlantic Broadband, Atlantic Broadband, and Atlantic Broadband. Oh wait, there’s also Atlantic Broadband!

    The far Right and Corporate America should really be proud how well they’ve gotten common working people working on their behalf and against their own interest.

  3. Without competition among ISPs, pick your poison: a greedy corporation or the political appointee du jur (who is in some corporation’s pocket anyway). At least with the first option we know who the corporation is.

  4. The courts are handing over our public property, and the regulation of it’s use, to corporations.

    A sad day. And with the recent Supreme Court decision to allow corporations to buy elections through unlimited political donations – “We The People” are in for some tough times ahead.

    The Corporations suffered a bit of a set back when their billion of dollars spent to try to stop health care reform failed – but the propaganda machine is in full gear and they have convinced an amazing number of americans that having access to affordable health care is bad for them and bad for the country.

  5. Next Comcast will be throttling their competing content providers, like iTunes and Hulu. I pay for my iTunes content and I do not expect it that traffic to be throttled. BitTorrent was just easy pickings for Comcast.

  6. It still amazes me how many rabid idiots would actually trust Comcast more than their own country and it’s elected government… maybe the next time you’re in trouble in a foreign country, try calling Halliburton, Brown & Root, or…Comcast for help, not the US Embassy. And you seriously think you are good, freedom-loving Americans?? Good for our enemies and the enemies of freedom is more like it. Instead of fearing the one government whose documented purpose is to protect your freedoms, you’d throw your lot in with those who would seriously abuse it. Try figuring it out.

    If I wasn’t stuck with the same outcome you idiots are, I’d just love to sit back and watch your stupidity come back to bite you in the ass. That would be entertaining… but unfortunately we’re all in the same boat. Too bad. I’d just love to see those of you who want to be governed by your assinine principles actually be governed by them, while the rest of us continue to move on into the 21st century. The only way I can think of doing that is to give you guys the eastern half of Texas. Just stay there, please! Do all the de-regulating you want, shit anywhere you want, kill anything you want, steal anything you want, eliminate education all you want… just stay there. That would be really a win-win deal. What do you say?

  7. “Finally someone smart putting the government in its place!”

    Umm…that would be the US Government (A federal court) – specifically the judiciary branch.

    And keep the government’s hands out of Medicare too!

    Comcast subscribers – prepare to bend over.

  8. Contards are SO CUTE when they get all umbragey!
    Maybe it’s time to tune into something other than the news out of Glennbeckistan. On the other hand……no. Keep on withabadselves! It’s almost as if the voice of a contard encourages the rest of the universe to turn 180° from what the Party Of No wants (or petulantly demands).

    Apple user here, by the way, and member of the GOP—–but not a far-right radical. Moderate and patriotic, that’s all.

  9. Obama will fix it! With a new law that regulates the Internet and forces everyone in the country to contract with a broadband service provider or be charged a extra tax. Unless it’s against your religion but the FCC gets to make the final call on what a qualifying religion is or is not without appeal or recourse for a judgment.

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