Net neutrality update: Federal Appeals Court Upholds FCC Order

On Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals handed a victory to net neutrality, upholding the FCC’s order to regulate broadband providers under the provisions of Title II of the Communications Act. The decision allows the FCC to continue classifying fixed and mobile broadband providers as common carriers, and also let stand the FCC’s decision to apply these rules to wireless internet.

The court’s decision, which is supported by the Obama administration, is seen as means to ensure that carriers will treat all internet traffic equally, and prevent throttling, blocking or otherwise prioritizing certain content.

The battle, however, will likely go as far as the Supreme Court, as AT&T announced that it would appeal the ruling. The numerous broadband interest groups and ISPs involved in the suit argue that a heavy-handed regulatory framework will stymie growth and investment in telecommunications infrastructure.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on the other hand hailed the ruling as “a victory for consumers and innovators who deserve unfettered access to the entire Web,” arguing that protecting a free and open internet was the best way to ensure continuing innovation.