Speed Reads

long live

Federal net neutrality is officially dead

Internet providers got what they wanted.

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission didn't break the law when it ended Obama-era net neutrality rules in 2017. But the ruling still leaves a bit of hope for net neutrality advocates, The Washington Post reports.

Washington, D.C.'s appeals court ruled 2-1 against a group of state attorneys general that FCC Chair Ajit Pai, appointed by President Trump, largely followed the law when rolling back the rules that allowed internet providers to deliberately slow service to certain sites, so long as they told customers when they were doing so. Pai had argued that the rules would stifle investment into telecom technologies, and the court ruled that opponents had provided "unconvincing" arguments to the contrary. Still, the judges did strike down Pai's attempt to stop states from enacting net neutrality rules of their own.

Net neutrality refers to a larger set of rules that prohibited internet providers from deliberately slowing down service to websites that don't pay a premium for faster performance. Proponents of the rules would rather not see massive internet providers as gatekeepers to certain kinds of content and certain high-paying brands, though even big-name sites such as Google and Facebook back the internet protections. Opponents meanwhile say net neutrality snuffs out competition and investment.