feature: What’s next if DC Court says FCC has no power over ISPs

18 01 2010

“Consensus is pretty strong that last week’s oral argument on the Comcast/BitTorrent argument in front of the DC Circuit was an unmitigated disaster for the FCC,” wrote pro-net neutrality advocate Harold Feld in his blog for Public Knowledge on Wednesday. “So much so that it appears that the D.C. Circuit may actually strip the FCC of any authority to ‘regulate the internet’.”

The remark came as the Federal Communications Commission hears final comments on its proposals to strengthen the FCC’s Internet nondiscrimination rules. Hanging over that proceeding is Comcast’s suit against the agency for its 2008 Order sanctioning the ISP for throttling BitTorrent P2P streamers. The aforementioned consensus is based on observer and newspaper reports about oral arguments in the case, which took place at the DC Circuit Court of Appeals last Friday.

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