In a speech last week at the Univeristy of Colorado Law School, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) discussed the need to restore Net Neutrality rules. MediaPost explained the problem:
"In January, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals gutted the FCC's net neutrality rules, which prohibited broadband providers from blocking lawful content or apps. The court ruled that the FCC couldn't impose common carrier regulations on broadband providers, given that the agency classified broadband as an “information” service in 2002. Neutrality advocates now say the FCC must first reclassify broadband as a telecommunication service if the agency wants to impose neutrality rules that will stand up in court. That way, broadband providers will be subject to the same common carrier rules that require telephone companies to put through all calls."
Portions of the speech by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler:
"The Network Compact—universal accessibility, interconnection, public safety, and consumer protection—constitute the things we have to promote and protect if we are to be faithful to the public interest imperative. When being offline in America means being unable to participate fully in our economy and our society, it is imperative that the Commission work to ensure that every American has access to affordable broadband."
Chairman Wheeleer said this about the recent court decision:
"The most obvious case where the Commission must act anew is net neutrality.
In its Verizon v. FCC decision, the Court of Appeals invited the Commission to act to preserve a free and open Internet. I accept that invitation, and in the coming days, I will be outlining how I propose to proceed... First, the Court has ruled that the FCC has the legal authority to issue enforceable rules of the road to preserve Internet freedom and openness. It affirmed that Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 gives the FCC authority to encourage broadband deployment by, among other things, removing barriers to infrastructure deployment and promoting competition. It also found that the goals of the Open Internet Order are within the scope of authority granted to the Commission. The court opinion specifically included that the Commission was justified in concluding that an open Internet would further the interest of broadband deployment by enabling the virtuous cycle of innovation that unites the long-term interests of end-users, broadband networks and edge-providers... What remains open is not jurisdiction, but rather the best path to securing the public interest..."