This past Tuesday a federal appeals court ruled that regulators had limited power over Web traffic under current law. The decision will allow Internet service companies to block or slow specific sites and charge video sites like YouTube to deliver their content faster to users. A little background is probably in order here. Comcast brought the suit against the FCC asserting that it had the right to slow its customersâ€™ access to BitTorrent. The "win" for Comcast is really on a technicality. The FCC currently does not treat internet access a utility, hence they lost the ability according to the courts to regulate access. This flies in the face of the the national broadband plan to shift billions of dollars in money from a fund to provide phone service in rural areas to one that helps pay for Internet access in those areas. We all pay fees on our phone services that subsidize rural phone service. Without these fees out telephone infrastructure never would have been fully built out to many small out of the way places. The new national broadband plan intends to bring broadband to many of these same small out of the way places the Rural Telephone and Electrification acts of the 1930's provided. Current opinion feels the FCC will go Congress to have broadband classified as a utility. In turn this will allow the FCC to regulate broadband. In my eyes this is a good thing as the FCC has stated time and time again they are in favor of Net Neutrality. How could this effect a site such as M/A? Imagine this...a big player in the forum realm such as Vertical Scope (owners of many forums including MINI2) could offer to pay providers, such as Comcast, a fee to provide greater bandwidth to the consumer or even to block sites. We as consumers may even be offered packages from ISP's at ever increasing cost levels that allow for access to various parts of the internet. As Comcast is in the process of purchasing NBC one can see a time where NBC shows are streamed over the web but a competing network is blocked unless the consumer pays more for access. This does not bode well for consumers. We need to keep unfettered access to the internet alive. Sure there are warts in the current system but I'd hate to see the day when a site owner would have to pay a fee to ISP's to have their traffic allowed on their network.