The US DC Circuit Court has struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality rules prohibiting internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or prioritizing internet traffic and from charging content providers for access to the network.   The Court’s ruling was based on the technical fact that the FCC had previously classified broadband as an information service, exempting ISPs from non-discrimination rules.

The Court agreed that the FCC is empowered to “promulgate rules governing broadband providers’ treatment of Internet traffic.”  What the FCC cannot do is impose requirements that violate express statutory mandates, i.e., non-discrimination rules on something categorized as an information service.

Todd Haiken, Outsell’s Director & Lead Analyst writes in his latest Outsell Insight reports on potential implications:  “In striking down the net neutrality rules, the Court has given the green light for Verizon, the plaintiff in the case, and other ISPs to begin charging companies for a faster path to  consumers.  In a statement following the court decision, Verizon in so many words said that while they remain “committed to the open internet,” they plan to take advantage of the ruling in the name of providing consumers with more choices for accessing and experiencing the internet.  We should expect the same from all of the ISPs — but to what extent is the real question, as that will determine the impact on companies in the publishing and information industries that rely on the speed with which their content  is delivered.

Financial Information Services companies that provide early access to data or news also stand to lose greatly if clients’ early access becomes less than advertised or demanded

Non-financial business-to-business companies would be less affected where speed is less important in delivery of information or content.

Source:  Outsell Insight

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