In April 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decided that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not have the authority to impose net neutrality regulations on Internet providers. The decision was made in the context of a court case against Comcast for throttling certain internet applications.
Chairman Tom Wheeler of the FCC has just proposed new rules governing the internet that would strengthen the FCC jurisdiction over the Internet and enable it to set rules that protect net neutrality. The new proposal by the FCC would reclassify broadband Internet access service as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Title II applies to "common carriers" which meant telephone companies or voice communications. It explicitly prevents common carriers from discriminating among users to “make any unjust or unreasonable discrimination in charges, practices, classifications, regulations, facilities, or services.” The Chairman of the FCC also cites Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which a court has interpreted as an independent grant of authority to the FCC that supports the adoption of open Internet rules.
The proposal states that mobile broadband is included under Title III of the Communications Act the effect of which is to classify mobile broadband as a telecommunications service. This means that both wired and wireless Internet would be covered by the proposed net neutrality rules.