Supreme Court Leaves Unenforced Net Neutrality Rules on Books

VOA News

The legal battle to abolish Obama-era net neutrality rules designed to ensure internet providers give equal access to all online traffic ended Monday with the U.S. Supreme Court declining to take up the matter.

The court decided not to hear appeals from telecommunications companies seeking to overturn a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling allowing the Obama-era regulations to stay on the books. Those rules have largely become irrelevant under the Trump administration, which reversed them in a Federal Communications Commission decision late last year.

Net neutrality laws are designed to guarantee equal access to all parts of the internet, preventing providers from giving quicker access to customers who pay more or barring users from content owned by competitors.

The court said Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas would have ruled in favor of the industry. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh declined involvement in the decision without explanation. Kavanaugh ruled on the issue while on an appeals court, while Roberts is financially involved in the telecommunications industry.