Obama urges FCC to adopt ‘strongest possible rules’ on net neutrality
Mon 10 Nov 2014
President Barack Obama has today released a statement calling for net neutrality goals to be upheld, underlining the importance of the “free flow of information and ideas” across the internet.
The White House released a video alongside the statement in which Obama urges the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to “do everything they can to protect net-neutrality for everyone.”
“Whether you use a computer, phone or tablet, internet providers have a legal obligation not to block your access to a website,” he said.
Obama also asked that the FCC reclassify internet as a public utility under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, explaining that “for most Americans the Internet has become an essential part of everyday communication and everyday life.”
Obama was openly against the FCC’s approval of paid prioritisation through which content providers would pay ISPs to increase the flow of traffic to their sites.
The President urged that the FCC specifically ban such deals: “No service should be stuck in a ‘slow lane’ because it does not pay a fee. That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the internet’s growth.”
“I believe the FCC should create a new set of rules protecting net neutrality and ensuring that neither the cable company nor the phone company will be able to act as a gatekeeper, restricting what you can do or see online,” Obama said in the statement.
He pushed for the FCC to consider the same principles for mobile ISPs, noting the particular challenges linked to managing wireless networks.
Obama emphasised the importance of fighting for the rules “which make the internet a powerful force for change”, concluding that as long as he is in office he will stand up for those principles too.