New York (The Verge) — The FCC can repeal net neutrality, but it can’t block state laws, says court theverge.com/2019/10/1/2089….
An appeals court has upheld the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality laws last year, but it says the agency can’t stop states from passing stricter laws.
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals says the FCC had authority to reclassify internet service providers as “information services” under Title I of the Telecommunications Act, rather than “common carriers” that can be more heavily regulated. It wasn’t persuaded by most of the arguments against this change, but it noted three areas where the FCC hasn’t adequately defended itself.
The court said the FCC exhibited “disregard of its duty” to evaluate how its rule change would affect public safety. Public safety was a key issue in a hearing earlier this year, with net neutrality advocates arguing that the FCC’s decision let ISPs throttle first responders’ data — something that happened in California last year. “The harms from blocking and throttling during a public safety emergency are irreparable. People could be injured or die,” reads the ruling, which orders the FCC to address these safety concerns. — Adi Robertson/@verge