Net Neutrality Dealt A Severe Blow As Comcast Wins FCC Appeal

Comcast customers have reason to be nervous today, as a federal appeals court rules that the Federal Communications Commission doesn't have the authority to enforce Net Neutrality on internet providers.

The FCC wants everyone to have a similar internet experience, without having access to legal content blocked by internet access providers. This is the basis for Net Neutrality, and internet users are generally big fans of the concept.

Comcast, on the other hand, isn't a big fan, and when the FCC banned the company from blocking broadband customers from using BitTorrent back in 2008, they took the issue to court. One of Comcast's main reasons for wanting to block access to BitTorrent was that their pipeline wasn't created with users spending all day downloading several gigabytes of torrent files. I suppose I can see where they are coming from, and that's why the 250GB usage cap the company puts on regular customers was put in place.

With today's ruling against the FCC, Comcast is again free to ban access to BitTorrent if they so wish, but such a move could definitely cost them customers. As a Comcast subscriber, I'm not particularly worried about having the service banned any time soon.

What does worry me, however, is that the ruling deals a serious blow to the FCC's efforts to expand broadband on a national level. Without the authority to regular internet providers, the commission's proposed plan to enhance internet access for everyone is in danger of failing.

So once again a giant corporation gets in the way of the government's attempts at actually doing something the people would like. This is why we can't have nice things.

US court rules against FCC on `net neutrality' [Yahoo!]