On Tuesday a federal appeals court ruled that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) overstepped its legal authority in 2010 when it imposed so-called net neutrality regulations on broadband companies -- cable and fiber-optic Internet providers like Comcast or Verizon FiOS. The FCC had done this despite language in federal law which forbade the regulations under a "common carrier" provision.
While the Wall Street Journal's Gautham Nagesh and Amol Sharma gave readers a factual portrait of the ruling which dealt with the law and the economic realities of broadband service, the Washington Post's Cecilia Kang opted for the melodramatic in her January 15 front-pager, foreseeing a future replete with the Internet's fast lanes auctioned "to the highest corporate bidder" while "other Web sites [slow] to a crawl." "Ultimately," the Post national technology correspondent ominously warned (emphasis mine):
Today the chairman of the FCC is announcing the agency will move to regulate the Internet, despite the fact that it doesn't really have the authority.
As Americans for Prosperity's Phil Kerpen has explained, the FCC intention - to classify the Internet like an old-fashioned telephone system so it can regulate - requires twisting history. It marks a major policy shift that could affect all Americans.
Strangely, just three days ago, The Washington Post reported (using mostly unnamed sources) that the FCC was going in the opposite direction. Tech reporter Cecilia Kang wrote: