January 14, 2014

Court Right to Strike Down FCC Net Neutrality Rule

Brent Skorup

Senior Research Fellow
Summary

The court made the right decision in striking down, for a second time, the Federal Communication Commission’s claimed authority to enact common-carrier-like regulations on Internet service providers. Net neutrality regulations threaten to undermine the innovative Internet and the deregulatory intentions of Congress by requiring government approval of ISPs’ business judgments.
 

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The DC Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling today striking down the FCC’s “net neutrality” rule. Below, Mercatus Center research fellow Brent Skorup reacts to the decision:

“The court made the right decision in striking down, for a second time, the Federal Communication Commission’s claimed authority to enact common-carrier-like regulations on Internet service providers. Net neutrality regulations threaten to undermine the innovative Internet and the deregulatory intentions of Congress by requiring government approval of ISPs’ business judgments.

 “Competition law, not burdensome net neutrality obligations, should be used to preserve a dynamic Internet for consumers. Unfortunately, the court did not rule on Verizon's contentions that net neutrality violated the 1st Amendment or that it constituted an uncompensated taking. Nevertheless, the FCC should accept the court’s decision that the Commission overreached and turn its attention to the pressing issues before it, including several spectrum auctions and the future of IP-based phone networks.”