Decaffeinated Jedi writes "According to this Washington Post article, a federal appeals court in California has overturned a Federal Communications Commission decision that many smaller companies claim has kept them locked out of the high-speed cable Internet business. As Chris Murry of Consumers Union (publisher of Consumer Reports) notes, 'Many consumers hate their cable companies' privacy policies and their failure to deal with spam effectively. Giving consumers a choice of Internet service providers would open the door to more competition, and let people choose services with better privacy and less spam.' As noted in News.com coverage of this decision, however, FCC chairman Michael Powell plans to appeal the ruling." Reader rednaxela provides some more insight (and a link to the ruling itself), below.
rednaxela writes "The 9th Circuit today issued a decision overturning the FCC's classification of cable modem service as an 'information service,' stating instead that cable modem service consists of both an 'information service' *and* a 'telecommunications service.' Telecommunications services are classified under Title II of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and are subject to all kinds of regulation. Information Services are classified under Title I, and are largely free from regulation. If upheld, this decision will likely require cable modem providers to open their networks to competing ISPs. Further, this is likely to derail, or at least complicate, the FCC's plans to classify DSL service (which is provided primarily over incumbent telco facilities) as a unified 'information service." Bottom line - the 9th Circuit's decision may well have preserved open access for competing ISPs on all forms of wireline networks.' Here is the 9th Circuit's ruling (PDF).