Federal Appeals Court Upholds FCC's Net Neutrality Rules, Protecting Open Internet

Posted July 20, 2016

MP3 Interview with Craig Aaron, president and CEO of the media democracy group FreePress.net, conducted by Scott Harris


On Feb. 26, the Federal Communications Commission voted in favor of new regulations that reclassified broadband Internet as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act. The new rules prohibit Internet service providers, including cellular carriers from blocking, slowing down or speeding up online traffic or giving priority to Web services in exchange for payment.

But the U.S. Telecom Association, an industry group representing providers including Comcast, Verizon and AT&T launched a legal challenge to scrap the FCC Net Neutrality rules, arguing that the new regulations threaten innovation and undermine investment in broadband infrastructure. A central issue was whether or not the FCC had the authority to reclassify Internet providers as utilities after a previous attempt to mandate net neutrality rules was struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2014.

However, on June 14, that same court rejected the industry challenge and upheld the FCC’s net neutrality rules, stating that the Commission exercised its proper authority when it reclassified broadband internet access as a telecom service under Title II of the Communications Act. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Craig Aaron, president and CEO of the media democracy group FreePress.net, one of the nation’s leading net neutrality advocacy organizations. Here, he reviews the recent court decision and his group’s hard-fought victory, as well as the ongoing "fight for a universal, affordable and open Internet."

Find more information at freepress.net and www.savetheinternet.com.

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