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FCC details plan to reassert authority over Internet

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday detailed plans for its so-called "third way" to reclassify broadband service as a telecommunications service, which would help the agency reassert its authority for regulating the Internet, after it lost an important legal battle last month.

The purpose of the statement is to put the agency on stronger legal footing after a federal appeals court ruled last month that the FCC had no legal authority to punish Comcast for slowing down BitTorrent traffic on its network. The FCC officially censured Comcast for violating its Net Neutrality principles.

The court decision has called into question the FCC's authority for any regulation of the Internet, especially new regulation the agency is forming to deal with Net neutrality--the broad question of whether rules are needed to prevent lopsided treatment for certain Web sites or types of Internet traffic. The chairman's statement, which asks for input from the public and the industry in determining how traffic should be reclassified, is a step toward making the FCC's legal status in regulating the Internet more certain. More...

05-06-2010 16:08