Court fight may delay FCC broadband rules


A continuing court fight over cable-modem service may persuade the Federal Communications Commission to postpone several broadband rulemakings that have been under way for more than two years and a priority of the agency.

Last week, federal circuit judges in Seattle testily grilled an FCC attorney over the decision to ignore their 2000 decision declaring cable-modem service to be "telecommunications," subject to open-access requirements.

Last year, the FCC declared cable broadband an "information" service, which the agency can shield from open access if it wants.

The FCC said its 2002 decision is consistent with a Supreme Court order.

But Ninth Circuit judges apparently disagreed, raising prospects for a protracted court battle.