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Courts enter into the net neutrality debate

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The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) believes that all data on the Internet should be treated equally and have installed regulations to ensure net neutrality. However, the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia thinks otherwise and on January 14, 2014 delivered a decision to strike down the FCC rule to treat all Web traffic equally. The ruling opens the door for Netflix who has 33 million subscribers in the United States and accounts for more than one third of Internet downloads and (and many others) who provide faster Internet content delivery to charge more for their services. The FCC may fight back with new requirements that comply with the recent court decision.

Net neutrality is aimed at treating all Web data equally and not charging different prices for different users, content, platforms, application, equipment type and modes of communication. Rules were the result of some providers trying to block certain content and competitors. Proponents of Web neutrality use different prices charged by telecomm companies and claim the Web to be neutral in order to address equality issues. Opponents on the other hand argue charging different prices for quality of service is desirable and promotes healthy broadband competition.

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