(credit: Daniel Gies)
Internet providers suing the Federal Communications Commission to overturn net neutrality rules got their day in court today as oral arguments were heard by a three-judge panel at the US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC.
A decision might not come for months, but net neutrality supporters said the judges’ questions indicate that a ruling may defer to the FCC’s determination on the crucial question of whether Internet providers can be reclassified as common carriers. Opponents of the net neutrality rules believe the judges are skeptical about some of the FCC’s arguments, however.
The FCC’s decision to impose common carriage restrictions on Internet providers hinges on whether they can be considered “telecommunications services,” as opposed to more lightly regulated “information services.” ISPs argue that Internet access is properly defined as an information service, but ultimately the FCC may have the discretion to make that decision.
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