Raise your hand if you thought ISPs were gonna go down without a fight.
Yeah, me neither.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld that the FCC had the right to reclassify broadband as a common-carrier telecom service, thereby limiting the ability of ISPs to selectively block or slow down internet traffic.
Naturally, the ISPs are less than thrilled with the decision. This won't be the last we see of them.
In IT Blogwatch, we have the lowdown on the showdown.
In case you've been living under a rock for the last few years, here's the background on net neutrality, courtesy of Marguerite Reardon in What's everyone saying about net neutrality?
For more than a decade, the issue of net neutrality...has pitted the broadband and internet industries against consumer advocates, who have called on the government to enact rules to make sure the open internet is protected.
On Tuesday, the FCC scored a major legal victory when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the FCC's...contention that it had the authority to reclassify broadband as a public utility.
So that's it, right? End of story. (Not quite.) Grant Gross explains in Net neutrality rules upheld by appeals court, but fight is not over
Rejecting challenges by ISPs and broadband trade groups, an appeals court...upheld the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's controversial net neutrality rules...prohibit[ing] broadband providers from selectively blocking or slowing internet traffic.
The appeals court decision is probably not be the end of the decade-long net neutrality debate...Republicans in Congress have...attempted to kill the rules several times and are likely to try again.
Decade-long -- and going to get longer? But really, what can the ISPs do? Joe Ravi tells us in After net neutrality loss, ISPs get ready to take case to Supreme Court
The FCC won a 2-1 decision...from a three-judge panel...but ISPs and their lobby groups are not out of legal options: they can ask the same court for an "en banc" review in front of all of the court's judges instead of...a three-judge panel. If that fails, they could appeal to the Supreme Court, or they could skip the en banc step and go straight to the nation's highest court.
So settle in, kids, it looks like we are going to be watching this one for a while. Or as AT&T General Counsel David McAtee said (via Jim Puzzanghera in In victory for Obama, court backs strict Internet regulation):
We have always expected this...to be decided by the Supreme Court, and we look forward to participating in that appeal.