After months of worrying and FCC posturing, including protests and a leaked hybrid plan, President Obama released a clear statement today on Net Neutrality. His statement was clear and lacking in any room for debate in what he meant – he was standing up for Net Neutrality. In particular he requested for Title II Reclassification in the telecommunications act. This is the same area that telephones and other basic communications rights fall under.
Barrack in Support of Net Neutrality
Essentially, it requires them to act in the common good as the carrier and not use things like throttling or allowing people to purchase ‘preferential service’ on their network. From his statement he outlines 4 clear points that stand out and we’ll quote them here:
No blocking. If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, your ISP should not be permitted to block it. That way, every player — not just those commercially affiliated with an ISP — gets a fair shot at your business. • No throttling. Nor should ISPs be able to intentionally slow down some content or speed up others — through a process often called “throttling” — based on the type of service or your ISP’s preferences. • Increased transparency. The connection between consumers and ISPs — the so-called “last mile” — is not the only place some sites might get special treatment. So, I am also asking the FCC to make full use of the transparency authorities the court recently upheld, and if necessary to apply net neutrality rules to points of interconnection between the ISP and the rest of the Internet. • No paid prioritization. Simply put: 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. So, as I have before, I am asking for an explicit ban on paid prioritization and any other restriction that has a similar effect.
With the president publicly backing these changes and pushing them to the FCC and ‘politely requesting’ the independent body adopt them it almost certainly will. The head of the FCC, is a former Obama campaign worker as well as cable man and can almost certainly read the writing on the wall if he were to go against the loudly spoken presidential wish. You can see Obama speak on it below or read the full statement here.
UPDATE 2023: The Battle for the Net site has made a comeback, and the organization has shifted it's focus to re-establishing proper Net Neuatrality. You can read more about the movement over at the official website, or check them out on social media.
What do you think about Obama's statement on Net Neutrality? Do you think it's a strong enough response? Comment below to let us know your views.