Net neutrality is an uphill battle, but President Obama wants us to know where he stands. He released a statement today urging the FCC to pass strict net neutrality laws. The tech community has been clamoring for the FCC to make the internet a utility, classifying them in the same manner that telephone service and electricity are classified. President Obama wants the FCC to make the internet a utility, he says in no uncertain terms. “An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life. By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known,” Obama says in the opening of his statement.
Obama wants the FCC should reclassify the internet under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, which would make it a utility. Doing this would turn the internet into dumb pipes, only able to carry bits and bytes around. Just like an old school telephone line, the internet would not be able to capped or tiered. You would be able to connect any device you wanted to it and access it using the devices you want. Currently, ISPs like Verizon and Comcast can control what you get over your internet connection. They can also control how fast or slow you get it, or if you get it at all. Netflix has been in the news because they have had to pay Verizon and Comcast in order to avoid service slowdowns. This is tiered data. This is a gated internet. It’s one that we don’t want. President Obama doesn’t either.
“”Net neutrality” has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation – but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas. That is why today, I am asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to answer the call of almost 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.”
Watch the full statement in the video released by the White House. The battle for an open internet rages on.