Court Reject's FCC Request To Revise Net Neutrality Rules

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the request to revise net neutrality rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the Obama administration in 2015, as revealed by a detailed log of the Monday proceedings published by the FCC. The request itself was made by the new FCC led by Commissioner Ajit Pai who was appointed by President Trump and repeatedly vowed to repeal the existing net neutrality rules as he believes they hurt innovation by discouraging investments and consequently slow down the creation of jobs in the telecommunications industry and related fields.

The so-called "en banc review" of the regulations requested by the FCC was described by the court as being "unwarranted," with several judges arguing how the agency's proposed alternatives are overly vague and don't provide a sufficient degree of certainty in regards to how the industry will react if the rules are repealed, especially in light of the fact that the FCC Chairman previously suggested that he supports the spirit of the rules that he's now seeking to repeal, making the agency's stance on the issue even more confusing. Furthermore, due to the fact that the FCC is currently in the process of drafting an alternative to the existing rules, the court excused itself from reviewing the current ones as the final decision might not be made until the new regulations are already in place, making the entire endeavor meaningless, a log of the hearing revealed.

The decision made by the federal court effectively means that the first judicial body that could have assisted Pai in eliminating net neutrality rules refused to do so, meaning the recently appointed FCC Chairman will now have to explore other avenues of approach to the situation, with some industry watchers predicting that the dispute might end up at the Supreme Court in the future. The recent repeal of broadband privacy rules that were scheduled to go into effect later this year was said to be a precursor to the annulment of the existing net neutrality regulations, though it remains to be seen whether the FCC will manage to accomplish its goal of deregulating the Internet in the near future.

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