The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on 14 June 2016 upheld government net-neutrality rules that prohibit broadband carriers from playing favourites or blocking competing online services.
This decision by the three-judge panel handed a defeat to cable, wireless and telephone companies who were trying to avert tighter oversight of the consumer broadband business. The challenge of telecommunication-industry to the net-neutrality regulations was defeated by 2-1 vote.
Benefits of the Decision
• It will prevent unfair competition from internet-service providers.
• All phone and cable companies will have to treat all of the traffic on their networks equally without blocking or slowing their competitors.
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• This will ban these service provides from providing fast lanes to companies that pays more to them for their services.
The three judges of the panel were David Tatel, Sri Srinivasan and Stephen Williams and they were appointed by a Clinton, Obama and Reagan, respectively.
Judge Srinivasan is an Obama appointee who was on the president’s short list for the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016.
What is Net Neutrality?
The Principle of Net Neutrality or Internet Neutrality refers to equal treatment of all data over the Internet by the Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The term was coined by Columbia University media law professor Tim Wu in 2003 as an extension of the longstanding concept of a common carrier.
As per the principle, the Governments and ISPs should treat every bit transmitted over the Internet equally, without any option for priority delivery or differential charges on the basis of user (Business or Domestic), content (voice or video or data), platform, application, type of attached equipment or mode of communication.
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