Today U.S. President Barack Obama announced his support for Net Neutrality and asked the FCC to “reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.”
In a press statement, Obama called Net Neutrality — the argument that Internet service providers should treat all data equally — “common sense” and said the U.S. “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.”
Obama summarized his requests in the following four bullet points:
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 [said] before, I am asking for an explicit ban on paid prioritization and any other restriction that has a similar effect.
Later, Obama requested that these rules also be “fully applicable to mobile broadband” (wireless) services.
“This is a basic acknowledgment of the services ISPs provide to American homes and businesses,” Obama’s statement reads, “and the straightforward obligations necessary to ensure the network works for everyone — not just one or two companies.”
Obama’s statement puts additional pressure on the FCC to hand over new Net Neutrality rules, although the FCC’s delayed ruling may not arrive until 2015.