Court Smacks Down FCC in Net Neutrality Case

Agency had no standing to regulate Comcast, 3-judge panel rules
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2010 12:25 PM CDT
Court Smacks Down FCC in Net Neutrality Case
A silhouetted coaxial cable with the Comcast Corp. logo in the background is seen in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo)

A federal court today said the FCC does not have the power to force Internet service providers to treat all traffic equally. The ruling, in a closely watched case concerning Comcast's ban on BitTorrent, is a blow to the Obama administration’s crusade for net neutrality. But the FCC failed to show that regulating ISPs falls within “its statutorily mandated responsibilities,” a three-judge appeals court panel ruled.

Comcast had said it was limiting use of BitTorrent because the service was slowing its network. The issue pits ISPs against sites like Google and Amazon, the Hill notes. FCC chairman Juilus Genachowski has said he will try to bring broadband Internet under the purview of the commission, and providers have vowed that such a move will lead to more legal action. (Read more net neutrality stories.)

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