We felt it’s time to provide a Net Neutrality update with an important judge ruling hitting the news earlier this month. It remains a topic affecting the Internet usage of homes and businesses across the country. If you want to learn more about the topic, check out our overview.
What we said in 2014 still applies today:
“Net Neutrality means that all data on the Internet is equal, no matter its source or its original creator. This is how the Internet has always operated. ISPs provide you the bandwidth and Internet speed you pay for without any say or control of where that data originates: Netflix, Pandora, Amazon — it makes no difference.”
The current administration of the FCC repealed most of the principles around Net Neutrality in 2017. They were promptly sued by Mozilla and others. Additionally, a few states passed their own laws counteracting the FCC ruling. In some cases, these policies are stronger than the original.
The recent federal appellate court ruling focused on the Mozilla suit. On the surface it seemed like a win for FCC head, Ajit Pai. Ultimately, the truth lies in the details. Let’s take a closer look.
A Closer Look at the Federal Court Net Neutrality Ruling
As noted above, Mozilla led the suit against FCC along with a host of other tech companies. Read more about their reasons in this blog post.
The ruling upheld the FCC’s repeal on most of the points raised by Mozilla. In many cases, they felt bound by precedent to allow Ajit Pai’s team to dictate policy. For example, the FCC edict reclassifying broadband as an information service still applies. In short, this allows for fewer regulations for Internet providers.
This portion of the ruling is the main reason the judge’s ruling seemed like a win for the FCC. Remember about the states passing their own Net Neutrality laws after the FCC repeal? Pai’s team argued that the FCC retained full authority to overrule these state laws.
However, the judge struck down that entire portion of the FCC’s new edict. She claimed the FCC doesn’t have the authority to stop any state from setting its own Net Neutrality policies. Considering the strong bipartisan popularity of the “free Internet,” expect more states to follow California’s lead and pass their own Net Neutrality rules.
So What’s Next After Latest This Net Neutrality Update?
Considering this raises a question on states rights vs. the federal government, expect Net Neutrality to eventually reach the Supreme Court. Still, the concept remains very popular view voters on both sides of the aisle. Frankly, not much changed for consumers after the 2017 FCC repeal.
If many states pass their own laws on Net Neutrality, expect Internet service providers the follow these edicts nationally. It makes little operational sense for these companies to implement 50 different Internet usage policies. Ironically, the judge noted by reclassifying the Internet as an information source, the FCC removed its own authority over the states.
For a deeper dive on this month’s Net Neutrality ruling, check out this excellent article at TechCrunch.
Ultimately, don’t expect your Internet service to change too much because of the latest Net Neutrality update. As always, make sure you perform regular speed tests to ensure you get the bandwidth you deserve.