Rulings

Net Neutrality Losing Ground

A federal appeals court has struck a blow against the Federal Communications Commission’s efforts to maintain “net neutrality”—the principle that broadband providers must give equal treatment to all traffic on their networks. The court upheld Comcast’s right to slow down the Web access of users who use BitTorrent, the file-sharing program often used to exchange movies. The ruling could allow broadband providers to restrict their customer’s access to Internet content like videos and music or to charge more money for frequent users of the sites that provide this content. A silver lining for net-neutrality advocates? The decision could endanger Comcast’s plans to acquire NBC Universal, because it now theoretically has the ability to favor the content of its own cable and broadcast channels.