overstepped its bounds last month when it approved regulations to
prevent broadband providers from using their control over high-speed
Internet networks to favor their own business interests.
The lawsuit is the latest chapter in the
long-running saga over network neutrality, the notion that all Web
traffic should be treated the same, regardless of its source. The issue
has taken on greater urgency with the recent emergence of streaming
video and TV shows from companies such as
and other pay-TV providers. Those firms also are main providers of
high-speed Internet service and could, at least in theory, degrade the
quality of streamed video over their networks from potential
competitors in the online video realm.
from both sides of the political spectrum. Net-neutrality advocates
argue that it should have gone further to police broadband companies.
Industry groups and Republicans accuse the agency of over-regulating a
thriving sector of the economy and potentially suppressing investment
in high-speed Internet networks.
“We are deeply concerned by the
Some legal experts believe the
are on shaky legal ground. That’s because agency lawyers used — with a
few tweaks — the same legal rationale that was rejected by the
“It’s very vulnerable,”
an Internet analyst and legal expert, said in an interview. “They
really were stretching very hard to find a way to issue these rules.”
At the same time, Downes called
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