FCC Net Neutrality Smackdown a Win for Free Market, Limited Government

Mike Brownfield /

In a huge win for the free market and limited government, a federal appeals court today put a halt to the Federal Communications Commission’s attempt to exert its authority over the Internet and its power play to regulate the companies who provide access to it.

The decision, issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, centers around the FCC’s efforts to enact “net neutrality,” a policy that would prevent ISPs such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from managing the flow of traffic on the Internet by discriminating among content and applications that put a high load on their networks.

The case at hand stemmed from a 2007 FCC complaint by non-profit organizations who alleged that Comcast violated the law when it interfered with its customers’ use of peer-to-peer file sharing networking programs, which drag down Internet speeds. Comcast defended its actions as necessary to manage scarce network capacity, while proponents of net neutrality advocate for the principle of “free and open Internet.” Enter the FCC, which decided to take action to regulate the Internet, much like it regulates other forms of telecommunications.