US Supreme Court ends fight over net neutrality rules, rejects appeal

Washington: The United States Supreme Court has ended the court fight over repealed Obama-era “net neutrality” rules that required internet providers to treat all online traffic equally.

The top court on Monday rejected appeals from the telecommunications industry seeking to throw out a lower court ruling in favour of the “net neutrality” rules.

The Federal Communications Commission under President Donald Trump has rolled back the rules, but the industry also wanted to wipe the court ruling off the books.

Three members of the Supreme Court — Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas would have granted the industry’s request. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh took no part in the case and offered no reason.

Kavanaugh played a role in the case on the appeals court, saying he would have overturned the net neutrality rule. CJ Roberts has an investment portfolio that includes telecommunications companies, according to his most recent financial disclosure report, he owned $250,001 to $500,000 in Time Warner Inc stock at the end of last year.

In 2015, the regulations were enacted by the then President, Barack Obama’s administration. Rules prohibited internet service providers from imposing extra charges for certain content or from giving preferential treatment to certain websites.

What is Net Neutrality ?

Net neutrality is the principle in which Internet service providers treat all data on the Internet equally, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication.

(With inputs from Agencies)