Verizon Argues Against Net Neutrality in US Court of Appeal

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Verizon argued against the Federal Communication Commission’s Net Neutrality law, which prevents ISPs from selectively blocking or slowing traffic, in the United States Court of Appeal on Monday.

According to a report by InfoWorld, Verizon argues that the FCC doesn’t have the authority to regulate its broadband service like a “common carrier” or a utility like phone services, which is heavily regulated. It should be classified as an “information service,” which is lightly regulated in comparison.

A whitepaper by the European Digital Rights organization defines Net Neutrality as “the principle that every point on the network can connect to any other point on the network, without discrimination on the basis of origin, destination or type of data.”

“This principle is the central reason for the success of the Internet. Net Neutrality is crucial for innovation, competition and for the free flow of information,” the paper said. “Most importantly, Net Neutrality gives the Internet its ability to generate new means of exercising civil rights such as the freedom of expression and the right to receive and impart information.”

Verizon took the FCC to court to appeal the Open Internet Order in September, and this week, Verizon is at the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to defend its case. If Verizon wins, the court will strike down the net neutrality provisions introduced by the FCC in 2010.

The court is expected to rule in this case either later this year, or early next year, according to InfoWorld.

There are proponents on both sides, but the outcome could be potentially problematic for web hosts. If Verizon or other ISPs can selectively slow traffic, what does that mean to hosting customers, or hosts themselves?

Here are a few articles around the Internet that give a detailed background on the FCC vs. Verizon case and the impact of the case:

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