The U.S. Court of Appeals for DC has dealt a blow to net neutrality, as a concept: it has ruled against the Federal Communications Commission in its legal battle with Comcast, essentially setting the precedent that Internet providers can differentiate between different kinds of traffic, restricting or charging more for heavier use of popular, media-rich sites (e.g., Hulu and YouTube) that occupy more bandwidth.
Net neutrality has occupied a vague space in the popular discourse--the term itself is so abstract that a lot of people don't seem to know what it is. It's the idea that traffic should be treated the same--and today's decision appears to pose an existential threat. If the FCC can't tell Internet Service Providers not to treat different sources of traffic differently, this would free ISPs to treat traffic according to their own, profit-driven liking, removing some of the government's power over the Internet. And implicit in support for net neutrality is an idea that government should be able to control the Internet for the public good, because the Internet is so vital to everyone.
President Obama pledged his support for net neutrality as a presidential candidate; Republican senators voiced opposition to the administration's ideas about net neutrality when Obama appointed a net neutrality supporter as chairman of the FCC.