Federal Court: High-speed Internet Is A Utility, Not A Luxury. | Gradient
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Federal Court: High-speed internet is a utility, not a luxury.

Internet

Here’s an interesting question that’s plagued the court system for a few years now: Is the internet a utility, like water and power? Or is it a luxury, like big screen TVs, outdoor pools, and Whole Foods groceries? It’s a curious question, and a three-judge panel at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit have ruled: High-speed internet is a utility. 

So what? Well, so a lot of things. The government can police broadband providers much more vigorously for fraud and abuse, and the people who use high-speed internet have more guaranteed protection that they’re not getting screwed.

“After a decade of debate and legal battles, today’s ruling affirms the commission’s ability to enforce the strongest possible internet protections — both on fixed and mobile networks — that will ensure the internet remains open, now and in the future,” Tom Wheeler, chairman of the FCC, said in a statement.

The fight isn’t exactly over, as David McAtee II, the senior executive vice president and general counsel for AT&T, immediately told reporters that he expected the battle to continue onto the Supreme Court. For providers like AT&T and Verizon, the Court’s decision limits their ability to decide who gets what types of content how quickly. The fear, of course, is that internet providers might start deciding to throttle internet speeds for high demand streaming sites like Netflix.

But, hey, when have we ever known internet service provider conglomerates to prioritize profits over service?

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