Does the fate of the Internet worldwide rest with the US Court of Appeal?

Written by on April 27, 2016 in Guest Blog with 0 Comments

Statue of justiceCan the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit really decide the fate of the Internet with their Net Neutrality decision?

As the industry and world await the Net Neutrality decision of the US Court of Appeals, there is one question that’s always plagued me with regards to Net Neutrality. How can one court, or one country for that matter decide how the Internet will work?

The Internet is world-wide phenomena, something never seen before in annuls of human history. What makes one court believe they should or even can alter the fate of human history?

Some pundits have suggested that the case might go all the way to the supreme court, others have said the current ruling with prompt action from congress to once and for all pass clear legislation on Net Neutrality and the Open Internet. Either way, at best US judiciary or lawmakers can only effect the US onramps to the Internet. They can only regulate the US Telecoms, cable companies and ISPs, what everyone else does is really up to them. Sure, the usual suspects like the EU will line up and follow suit, but there are still plenty of other parts of the world that will regulate based on the best outcome for their own country and people and don’t forget the Internet companies.

Even today there are very widely differing views on what exactly Net Neutrality is or what it should be. How can we have one set of regulations in the US, a slightly different set of laws in India and something completely different in Brazil?

European Union

In October 2015, the European Union enshrined binding Net Neutrality protections in 28 countries with its Telecoms Single Market regulation, but many countries within the EU have failed to enact their own laws.

France does not have a governing law on Net Neutrality. Two separate bills were introduced to enshrine net neutrality into law, but they failed to receive approval by the legislature.

The United Kingdom does not have a law governing Net Neutrality. Instead, major internet service providers signed a voluntary code of conduct that prohibits discrimination in traffic management and which promotes transparency in traffic management in 2012.

Italy does not have a law governing Net Neutrality.


While Switzerland does not have a law governing Net Neutrality. In 2014, five major telecom operators signed a voluntary code of conduct and vowed to establish an ombudsman to monitor adherence to the code.


In February 2016, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued binding rules that went into immediate effect that protected strong Net Neutrality and prohibited zero-rating services.


The law states that operators must respect the neutrality of “signals” under Article 26. The telecom regulator upheld this provision as applying to mobile internet in 2014 in response to blocking of Viber and Skype by mobile carriers


Turkey does not have a law governing Net Neutrality. However, the Information and Communications Technologies Authority (ICTA) has issued regulations that require internet service providers to maintain Net Neutrality


Net Neutrality was passed into law in 2014. Article 56 of 2014’s Law 27.078 (also known as “Argentina Digital”) establishes the right of users to access neutral telecommunications networks.

Africa and Asia

Most countries in Africa and Asia have not even considered Net Neutrality regulations.

So the question remains, regardless of the decision handed down by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit or even laws enacted by the US Congress, how in the world will we ever agree on a Net Neutrality decision?

See the Global Net Neutrality Coalition


This article was first published on Pricing Data Plans.

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About the Author

About the Author: Jonathon has been lurking around the Telecoms and Internet space for the last 20 years. He is now a man on a mission – that being the reformation of the Industry Analyst business. He is working with his co-conspirators on transforming the Industry Analyst world forever as an Expert with EMI. .


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