Court dismisses challenges to FCC Internet rules

A federal appeals court has dismissed two legal challenges to new Federal Communications Commission regulations that prohibit phone and cable companies from interfering with Internet traffic on their broadband networks.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Monday dismissed lawsuits filed by Inc. and MetroPCS Communications Inc. on technical grounds. The court said the companies filed their challenges prematurely since the rules have not yet been published in the federal register.

The new "" regulations bar broadband providers from favoring or discriminating against Internet content and services, including online calling and Web video services that could compete with their core phone and cable operations. The FCC's three Democrats voted to adopt the regulations late last year over the objection of the agency's two Republican members.

FCC spokesman Rob Kenny defended the new FCC policy, saying it "preserves and openness." Edward McFadden, a Verizon spokesman, said the company plans to refile its appeal as soon as the rules are published in the federal register. MetroPCS had no comment.

The companies are suing the FCC in the same court that ruled last year that the agency had exceeded its legal authority in sanctioning cable giant Comcast Corp. for discriminating against online file-sharing traffic on its .

Congressional Republicans also are seeking to repeal the new FCC rules and are planning a House floor vote later this week on a measure to overturn them. Republicans argue that the rules will discourage phone and from investing in costly network upgrades by barring them from offering premium services over their lines or prioritizing traffic from business partners in order to earn a return on those investments. They also maintain that the FCC overstepped its authority in adopting the rules.

In a statement released late Monday, the White House said it is strongly opposed to the Republican bill and suggested that the measure will likely face a veto if it reaches the President's desk. Overturning the FCC's net neutrality rules, would "raise questions as to whether innovation on the Internet will be allowed to flourish, consumers will be protected from abuses, and the democratic spirit of the Internet will remain intact," the Obama Administration said in a statement.

House Republicans already have attached an amendment to a sweeping spending bill that would bar the FCC from using government money to implement the new rules.

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Apr 04, 2011
The internet is an emergent type 1 communications network.

Eventually, as Moore's law and self assembly approach their limits, the ISP and the data center will become obsolete, because computers will be so powerful and so cheap that everyone will own several super computers, and everyone will have shared access and shared ownership the networks.

If everyone owns a Tricorder with 100petabytes of memory, then the first time anyone downloads something from a data center, they have a permanent copy in their temporary files, because they can just move it to another file folder. Then if the nasty ISPs and data centers want to try to control things, people can just give information to one another independently.

It would only take a few days before "someone somewhere" will have any knowledge you could possibly want, for free.

Ultimately, the ISP, Cable company, Satellite company, and data center better recognize that they are already on the path to extinction in ten to fifteen year

Apr 04, 2011
Impressive how these Republicans shamelessly do everything to please their corporate masters without even trying to look like they care. Who votes for these bozos?

QC: Right, but they'd still need to go through their routers to share data, and tweet about the latest leaks...

Apr 04, 2011
Jotaf, have you noticed that Wall Street donates heavily to democrats? Or that the CEO of General Electric is buddy buddy with Obmama, A DEMOCRAT?
I would argue that it the democrats who are in the bag to corporations.

Apr 04, 2011
Actually, you're right... They both are, of course.

What I was pointing out is that at least the Democrats pretend to be for the people most of the time. I guess I prefer hypocrisy over blatant despoty.

Apr 05, 2011
Actually, you're right... They both are, of course.
Yup, the only real party that exists in America these days, is the Corporacrats. Or if you prefer, the Oligarchicans. It has two primary wings: the hypocrites, and the demagogues.
I guess I prefer hypocrisy over blatant despoty.
Suit yourself; personally I prefer neither.

Apr 05, 2011
If Comcast or whoever wants to prioritize their network, and you don't like it, change provider. Now there's the rub, not enough competition. The government wants to control the market, not free it. The US has about the most expensive internet access in the world, so if you think the government gives two hoots about you, think again. What the internet needs is something like the utilities model where there is one fee for the infrastructure, and then you can buy the service from several providers.

Apr 05, 2011
Jotaf, have you noticed that Wall Street donates heavily to democrats?
And republicans.
Or that the CEO of General Electric is buddy buddy with Obmama, A DEMOCRAT?
And with Bush, a republican, and Clinton, a democrat, and Bush, another reoublican.
I would argue that it the democrats who are in the bag to corporations.

And you'd be wrong. Politicians on the whole are in the bag to corporations, hence why citizen's united should have never been allowed to go down the way it did. Corporations are not people, they are communes of people created in order to gain profit without accountability.

Apr 08, 2011
our biggest problem is we cynical fail to properly distinguish between the parties. Just because they both take corp donations etc does NOT mean that one party is not SIGNIFICANTLY more oriented towards the interests of the middle/low class, and the country as a whole. Please be more discerning.

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