President Obama calls for strict open-Internet rules

President Obama calls for strict open-Internet rules

In a statement released by the White House on Monday, President Barack Obama gave Net Neutrality a push, by urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to claim authority over Web service in a manner similar to the regulation of telecom companies.

Calling for strict open-Internet rules, President Obama proposed an explicit ban on practices like ‘paid prioritization,’ which gives Internet service providers (ISPs) the ability to demand additional fees for faster delivery of videos and other content.

Noting that ISPs cannot be allowed to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in Web space, Obama said: "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."

Despite the fact that the FCC is an independent agency which will establish its own rules, President’s Obama’s proposal clearly contradicts FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler tentative plan to have weaker regulations that allow ISPs to charge extra payment under the ‘paid prioritization’ practice.

With President Obama voicing unequivocal support for ‘Net Neutrality’ – which underscores the perception that ISPs should treat all content equally – and seeking more clarity from the FCC on the issue, the agency may be forced to regulate broadband service like a utility, so as to ensure that consumers continue to have the ability to access all content without the threat of throttled connectivity.

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