From The New York Times

A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out Federal Communications Commission rules that require Internet service providers to give all traffic equal access through their networks.

The decision could pave the way for Internet service providers like Verizon and AT&T to charge content companies — say ESPN or Facebook — to deliver their data to consumers at a faster speed.

Verizon and other big players that have spent billions of dollars have building their networks have argued they should be able to manage their pipelines as they see fit. But the F.C.C. and consumer advocates have countered that content providers should have equal access to those networks to encourage competition, otherwise the richest companies will have an unfair advantage.

The court said that the commission overstepped its authority when it imposed anti-discrimination rules on Internet service providers, because it had previously exempted those companies from such regulation. But the court did acknowledge that the F.C.C. has some authority to regulate Internet service.

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