Obama Speaks Up for Net Neutrality

Obama Contradicts FCC Chief on Fast Lanes, Net Neutrality Backers Say

Net neutrality is the idea that the Internet should be an open platform, and broadband companies shouldn’t be able to interfere with your right to access content and services on line. — Sam Gustin for motherboard.vice.com

President Obama made a strong and clear declaration supporting net neutrality during his remarks on Tuesday to the US-Africa Business Forum since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced plans to make new rules governing the Internet.

“I personally, the position of my administration, as well as a lot of the companies here, is that you don’t want to start getting a differentiation in how accessible the Internet is to different users,” Obama added. “You want to leave it open so the next Google and the next Facebook can succeed.”

Free Press Flickr/creative commons

Free Press
Flickr/creative commons

Besides allowing for innovation by maintaining net neutrality, any restrictions on free access to the Internet will make it more difficult for organizations and others to be heard, essentially destroying the inherent democracy intended in the first place.

Instead of treating it like any other utility as it should, the FCC is seriously entertaining a proposal to allow certain big corporations such as Verizon and Comcast to pay more for broader and faster access, costs which consumers will ultimately bear, and overpowering the service that others get.

The period for public comments, variously estimated to be 677,000 to more than one million, ended in mid-July, and the FCC has promised to read and consider each one. These comments are now available to analysts, journalists, and consumers, and early reports have them running 99 to 1 in favor of no special interest regulations.

But because monied corporate power seems to have no bounds these days, we have keep paying attention to this issue until the FCC formally rejects the very notion of these pay-to-play regulations.