Federal Communications Law Journal

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63 Federal Communications Law Journal 591 (2011)


In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010), the U.S. Supreme Court overruled a century of precedent to hold that corporations must be treated identically to natural persons with regard to political speech. This Article describes how the Court's decision is a radical departure from history that mirrors the FCC's flawed analysis in its classification of broadband Internet access services as an information service with no separable telecommunications component subject to common carriage regulation. Overall, the combinatorial effect of Citizens United and the FCC's classification of broadband access service as an information service is to elevate the constitutional free speech rights of corporations, and thereby diminish the federal government's ability to protect consumer interests with regard to network neutrality.