US Court: FCC can't force net neutrality on ISPs

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Proponents of net neutrality suffered a loss today as a US federal court ruled that the FCC can't force ISPs to treat all network activity equally. The decision marks a major setback for the FCC, which is attempting to emplace official net neutrality regulations.

The case stems back to fall of 2007, when Comcast began interfering with its customers' use of BitTorrent. When the company's actions were exposed, the FCC ordered Comcast to stop discriminating against P2P traffic in early 2008. The Internet provider responded with a lawsuit.

Comcast said that its move to block P2P traffic was "necessary to manage scarce network capacity," but the FCC found that the company had "significantly impeded consumers' ability to access the content and use the applications of their choice."

The court's decision could potentially complicate the FCC's future plans as it shifts to an agency that is more focused on Internet.

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