Supreme Court wallops telcos with a large cableco favor

Two sets of rules for competitor access

The US Supreme Court has sided with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and by extension, with cablecos, by decreeing that cable infrastructure need not be open to competitors who wish to lease it, the way telecommunications infrastructure is.

The issue boiled down to a bit of legal hair-splitting, finally defining cable Internet access as an "information service" subject to FCC regulation, as opposed to a "telecommunications service" subject to Title II common-carrier regulations, and the public obligations they impose.

It is hoped that easing the regulatory burden, hence increasing profits, for cablecos will help to spread the redeeming light of high-speed internet access to rural areas. Certainly, crippling small-fry discount outfits will also help increase profits among the big players. So these profits will certainly spawn massive expansions of service to Americans on the wrong side of the "digital divide" in short order.

Yep, any minute now. ®

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