A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down the FCC’s open Internet rules, in a ruling that could give broadband providers more room to charge content companies for faster speeds.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled (see full opinion below) that the FCC lacked the authority to impose anti-discrimination rules because it had failed to classify broadband Internet as a common-carrier service.
The ruling is a blow to the concept of net neutrality, and opens the door for Verizon (and other Internet service providers) to offer managed services or other arrangements where content providers could pay to increase the speed to their content. The Wall Street Journal reports that Verizon (the plaintiff in this case) has indicated it would pursue such an arrangement if it was permitted to do so.
The FCC rules were designed to ensure Internet service providers treat similar content on broadband pipes equally. By enforcing net neutrality, the court found, the agency was imposing rules that didn’t apply to carriers.