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FCC Appeals Cable Broadband Decision

The Supreme Court is expected to review a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco that ruled cable modem services should be regulated as a telecommunications service.

The appeal was filed by the FCC, which asked that last year's Appeals Court decision on the issue be overturned.

The review request was filed on behalf of the FCC by the U.S. Solicitor General.

Cable companies with exclusive broadband offerings favor the appeal because, if the decision is overturned, they will be freed from having to comply with various regulatory restraints. Competitors, however, maintain the decision would pave the way for them to offer competing services thereby giving consumers more choice.

EarthLink, a broadband provider that supports the Appeals Court decision, said in a statement by vice president of law and public policy Dave Baker: "Instead of fighting to protect cable monopolies, the FCC should recognize that cable modem and other broadband users deserve choice in high-speed Internet providers."