US net neutrality rules to go ahead

Washington: Rules that prevent net firms from blocking or slowing down online traffic can go ahead, a federal appeals court in the US has ruled.

The three-judge panel said it will not postpone implementation of net neutrality rules, despite opposition from firms such as Verizon and AT and T.

Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler termed it “a victory for internet consumers”, though he had pushed for rule changes.

He agreed with the view that the internet needed to be kept fast, fair and open.

The new rules were agreed in February and saw internet services put on a par with other utilities, meaning they would be subject to greater regulation.

While net firms say the regulations are too onerous, consumer groups felt that they were a necessary way to protect a free and open internet.

The main issue was over whether net firms should have the right to make deals with content providers to offer them a better service for a fee.

USTelecom, a US broadband association that opposes the rules, said it was disappointed by the court’s decision but added that it would continue to fight.


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