Communications Alert: Supreme Court's Brand X Decision Likely to Result in Further Consolidation of US Internet Access Market

    June 2005
    The US Supreme Court, by a 6-3 majority, has upheld the decision of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that cable system operators are not required to offer a stand-alone broadband transmission service to non-affiliated Internet service providers. As a result, cable systems can continue to require users to purchase a package that bundles both broadband transmission and Internet access. The decision is a significant victory for the FCC and the cable industry. We expect that it will lead to further FCC deregulation of broadband services provided by incumbent local exchange carriers, such as Verizon and SBC, as well as further consolidation in the US Internet access market.