The FCC’s net neutrality rules have been upheld by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
“Today’s ruling is a victory for consumers and innovators who deserve unfettered access to the entire Web, and it ensures the Internet remains a platform for unparalleled innovation, free expression and economic growth,” FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement.
“After a decade of debate and legal battles, today’s ruling affirms the Commission’s ability to enforce the strongest possible Internet protections—both on fixed and mobile networks—that will ensure the Internet remains open, now and in the future.”
The decision is a defeat for the ISPs, who fought to abandon the FCC net neutrality rules, and are now set to bring the case to the Supreme Court. These include the likes of Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon.
Besides planning to appeal the decision, broadband providers are also urging Congress to change the FCC’s rules. “We are reviewing today’s split decision by the DC circuit panel, and will carefully review the majority and dissenting opinions before determining next steps,” the US cable association NCTA said.
Meanwhile, Netflix applauded the decision in a press statement, “Today’s appeals court decision underscores what’s possible when millions of consumers unite to be heard and government officials listen. By upholding all parts of the FCC’s net neutrality approach, the appeals court settled two decades of debate and legal uncertainty by ensuring the Internet remains open to all. The Court went out of its way to define interconnection as a central part of Net Neutrality, ensuring that providers like Netflix will be able to reach consumers without ISP interference. Now the FCC has clear authority to hold ISPs to these openness rules and turn its attention to policies that support an affordable, faster internet.”