President Obama came out with a video (watch it below) and detailed statement today announcing his plan to protect Internet neutrality, urging the Federal Communications Commission to step up its regulation of broadband providers, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Obama said the “strongest possible rules” will be required to ensure that access to the Web does not become a two-tiered system with fast lanes and slow lanes, the story reports.
“In a detailed statement and video, Mr. Obama called for bright-line rules that ban broadband providers from blocking websites or cutting deals with content companies for better access to consumers, known as paid prioritization,” the story reports. “The statement was his strongest and most specific comment to date on net neutrality, the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally.”
Said Obama: “We cannot allow Internet service providers to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas.”
The president wants the FCC to increase its regulatory power over broadband providers by reclassifying them in effect as public utilities or common carriers, along the lines of the old telephone landline providers.
“Mr. Obama wants the agency to reclassify the entire network under Title II of the Communications Act, then enact bright-line rules banning broadband providers from blocking, slowing down, or giving preferential treatment to some websites,” the story reports.
The report adds: “Mr. Obama also said that whatever rules the FCC adopts should apply equally to mobile devices, after wireless carriers were largely exempted from the FCC’s previous net-neutrality rules passed in 2010. Those rules were thrown out by a federal court in January.”