Tuesday, April 6, 2010

FCC's Net Neutrality, R.I.P (Part II)

After the FCC did not include the Net Neutrality initiative in the NBP (see "FCC's National Broadband Plan: Net Neutrality, R.I.P., by Doug Hanchard" - here) we got today even a stronger sign - Comcast won a lawsuit against the FCC. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC lacked the authority to require Comcast to conform to its Net Neutrality guidelines. This will set a big question mark on FCC ability to regulate ISPs by its proposed Net Neutrality guidelines.

Comcast issued a press release (here) saying that "We are gratified by the Court's decision today to vacate the previous FCC's order. Our primary goal was always to clear our name and reputation. We have always been focused on serving our customers and delivering the quality open-Internet experience consumers want. Comcast remains committed to the FCC's existing open Internet principles, and we will continue to work constructively with this FCC as it determines how best to increase broadband adoption and preserve an open and vibrant Internet."

Needless to say - the existing principles do not include the Net Neutrality envisioned by the FCC.

In related news, Verizon CEO continued his campaign against government involvement in broadband services (see "More Signs for Net Neutrality Piece - Google and Verizon Joint Appeal to the FCC" - here). During a session at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Mr. Seidenberg said he has "a profoundly optimistic vision of the benefits communications technology can deliver for the world." To achieve that vision, he outlined four challenges that need to be addressed, one of which is "Ensuring the Internet is kept secure through the use of network intelligence innovations that may be hampered by policies such as net neutrality."

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