The beast is back: The FCC’s net neutrality case gets its day in court

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Lawyers for Verizon and the FCC are stepping up Monday to argue over the future of network neutrality before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday. The case, which is over FCC rules forbidding ISPs from discriminating against packets on their networks, has ramifications for entrepreneurs, consumers and even the agency’s ability to provide regulatory oversight over the web.

While the arguments are arcane, this is a case that could determine if broadband providers could charge companies such as Skype or Netflix – to send their content over their pipes. The network neutrality rules also ensure that if a broadband provider wants to throttle or affect broadband speeds for consumers they must do so in a fair and transparent way. And, while the rules are weaker on the wireless side, they do leave open the possibility of FCC regulation should a wireless provider attempt to block a competitive service, such as WhatsApp or other over-the-top option.

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