High Court Broadband Decision a Victory for Cable

Jun 27, 2005  •  Post A Comment

In a major legal victory for the cable TV industry, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday affirmed Federal Communications Commission rules that permit cable operators to close their broadband networks to competitive Internet service providers.

Cable TV industry representatives said the high court’s decision in the NCTA v. Brand X Internet Services case will serve the interests of consumers by providing the industry with incentive to continue rolling out broadband.

“Classifying cable modem service as an interstate information service, as the FCC did, keeps this innovative service on the right deregulatory path,” Kyle McSlarrow, National Cable & Telecommunications Association president and CEO, said in a statement.

Representatives of watchdog groups opposing the decision vowed to take their fight for broadband access requirements to Congress.

“Today the court struck a blow against freedom online,” Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, said in a statement. “The Internet they have bestowed promotes the interest of a few big media companies against the best interests of the public in the U.S. and globally. It’s time that Congress heard from Americans that Big Media shouldn’t be allowed to control the future of the Internet.”