Last week, a United States court of appeals issued a ruling blocking the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) attempts to prevent internet service providers from restricting access to content, applications and services offered by competitors. Now, a group of journalist is pushing back, urging the FCC to reclaim its right to regulate broadband networks.
UNITY: Journalists of Color—an organization representing more than 8,000 professionals in that field—has called on the commission to reclassify broadband as a "telecommunications service," which would make it a basic utility subject to regulation, and reverse actions taken by previous commissions that favored a deregulatory approach.
"Without the authority to set net neutrality rules, the FCC cannot promote a level playing field," said UNITY president Barbara Ciara.
"[We] oppose any technological, legislative or content strategies to block innovation and free speech on the internet," she added.
The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC had overstepped its jurisdiction when it attempted to impose net neutrality rules on Comcast, which had blocked its subscribers from using the file-sharing website BitTorrent.
Analysts say companies such as AT&T and Verizon would also be hit by "net neutrality," but it would benefit applications providers such as Google, Skype and Facebook.