In a release, the White house put out the statement and video below (unedited here and provided as a public service) on President Obama's statement on "Net Neutrality"
in a statement and video message posted online, President Obama
announced his plan for a free and open internet. The text of the
President’s statement is below, and an online version
of his statement and video can both be found here .
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.
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.
I was a candidate for this office, I made clear my commitment to a free
and open Internet, and my commitment remains as strong as ever. Four
years ago, the FCC tried to implement
rules that would protect net neutrality with little to no impact on the
telecommunications companies that make important investments in our
economy. After the rules were challenged, the court reviewing the rules
agreed with the FCC that net neutrality was
essential for preserving an environment that encourages new investment
in the network, new online services and content, and everything else
that makes up the Internet as we now know it. Unfortunately, the court
ultimately struck down the rules — not because
it disagreed with the need to protect net neutrality, but because it
believed the FCC had taken the wrong legal approach.
FCC is an independent agency, and ultimately this decision is theirs
alone. 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. The rules I am
asking for are simple, common-sense steps that reflect the Internet you
and I use every day, and that some ISPs already
observe. These bright-line rules include:
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
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
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.
carefully designed, these rules should not create any undue burden for
ISPs, and can have clear, monitored exceptions for reasonable network
management and for specialized services
such as dedicated, mission-critical networks serving a hospital. But
combined, these rules mean everything for preserving the Internet’s
rules also have to reflect the way people use the Internet today, which
increasingly means on a mobile device. I believe the FCC should make
these rules fully applicable to mobile
broadband as well, while recognizing the special challenges that come
with managing wireless networks.
be current, these rules must also build on the lessons of the past.
For almost a century, our law has recognized that companies who connect
you to the world have special obligations
not to exploit the monopoly they enjoy over access in and out of your
home or business. That is why a phone call from a customer of one phone
company can reliably reach a customer of a different one, and why you
will not be penalized solely for calling someone
who is using another provider. It is common sense that the same
philosophy should guide any service that is based on the transmission of
information — whether a phone call, or a packet of data.
the time has come for the FCC to recognize that broadband service is of
the same importance and must carry the same obligations as so many of
the other vital services do. To do
that, I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service
under Title II of the Telecommunications Act — while at the same time
forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to
broadband services. This is a basic acknowledgment
of the services ISPs provide to American homes and businesses, and the
straightforward obligations necessary to ensure the network works for
everyone — not just one or two companies.
in wired and wireless networks has supported jobs and made America the
center of a vibrant ecosystem of digital devices, apps, and platforms
that fuel growth and expand
opportunity. Importantly, network investment remained strong under the
previous net neutrality regime, before it was struck down by the court;
in fact, the court agreed that protecting net neutrality helps foster
more investment and innovation. If the FCC
appropriately forbears from the Title II regulations that are not
needed to implement the principles above — principles that most ISPs
have followed for years — it will help ensure new rules are consistent
with incentives for further investment in the infrastructure
of the Internet.
Internet has been one of the greatest gifts our economy — and our
society — has ever known. The FCC was chartered to promote competition,
innovation, and investment in our networks.
In service of that mission, there is no higher calling than protecting
an open, accessible, and free Internet. I thank the Commissioners for
having served this cause with distinction and integrity, and I
respectfully ask them to adopt the policies I have
outlined here, to preserve this technology’s promise for today, and
future generations to come.
Labels: Net Neutrality, President Barack Obama, White House