On June 14, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit released its long-awaited opinion in U.S. Telecom Association v. FCC, upholding the FCC’s Open Internet Order from February 26, 2015, by a 2-1 vote. That order was significant for declaring broadband as a utility and setting rules to govern network neutrality by ensuring that broadband providers can’t block or degrade Internet traffic by creating “fast lanes” and “slow lanes.”
ACRL President Ann Campion Riley of the University of Missouri joined the ALA and others in applauding this recent decision to uphold net neutrality protections, saying “The U.S. Court of Appeals decision yesterday supports the high bandwidth applications and services that enable real-time collaboration, content creation, sharing, and learning by educational and community institutions, including libraries. We are pleased the court recognizes the importance of keeping an open Internet and ensuring that Internet providers do not discriminate against users by charging premiums or restricting access, content, applications, or services.”
ACRL has long had an interest in net neutrality, most recently joining three other library associations in a September 2015 amicus brief to support the FCC’s net neutrality rules and including net neutrality on ACRL’s 2016 legislative agenda as a policy issue of concern. Read more about libraries’ advocacy supporting network neutrality.