White House: Net Neutrality: President Obama’s Plan For A Free And Open Internet
An 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. “Net 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.
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 before, I am asking for an explicit ban on paid prioritization and any other restriction that has a similar effect.
Good news, America. Our president, Barack Obama, is finally standing up for the internet, and asking the FCC to classify it as a public utility. In other words, he’s asking the agency not to allow destructive things like fast lanes (a.k.a. paid prioritization) or throttling. It’s a great day! At least, today’s news is a great step in the right direction. So Obama’s asked the FCC to reclassify the internet as a public utility, like electricity or water. This means a lot of things. Suffice it to say that the internet gets a better square on the Monopoly board. Instead of just being a regular piece of real estate that can be bought or sold or modified or destroyed, the internet would enjoy a number of regulatory protections if it were classified under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. The White House points out in a blog post about Obama’s statement that the reclassification would represent a “basic acknowledgement 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.” That sounds about right. The internet was designed to be a free and open tool for communications.
About an hour after the White House released the statement, Tim Wu tweeted:
Tim Wu is the Columbia Law School professor who invented the term “net neutrality.” So if he likes Obama’s policy, today is a terrific day for the internet. And it actually sounds like he loves the policy. Keep this in mind when you wonder if it’ll work. Will the FCC actually write new rules that conform to the president’s wishes? We don’t know. We can’t know until they do or they don’t! Think of it this way, though. The FCC is not the American people’s favorite agency right now. More than one individual commissioner has even admitted that the existing rules are bad. Meanwhile, the experts who understand how the internet works better than the FCC does say that Obama’s plan is “100% on target.” It’s the FCC’s job to listen to experts and do what’s best for the American people. Now would be a good time for the FCC to do its job.
President Barack Obama stands with Helen Loring Ensign, 85, from Palm Desert, Calif., after awarding the Medal of Honor posthumously to Army First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing for conspicuous gallantry during a ceremony in the Roosevelt Room of the White House
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive at a ceremony to present the Medal of Honor posthumously to Army First Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing for conspicuous gallantry in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. First Lieutenant Cushing received the Medal of Honor for his actions during combat operations in the vicinity of Cemetery Ridge, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on July 3, 1863
President Barack Obama stands with Helen Loring Ensign, 85, from Palm Desert, Calif., after awarding the Medal of Honor posthumously to Army First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing for conspicuous gallantry during a ceremony in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. With them, from left to right, are Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., Army Secretary John McHugh and Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald.
U.S. Army First Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing is pictured in a military academy graduation photograph dated 1861, obtained on October 28, 2014. President Barack Obama posthumously awarded the Civil War artillery officer the Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. award for bravery, 151 years after Cushing was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg.
President Barack Obama stands with Helen Loring Ensign, as the citation for her relative, U.S. Army First Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing is read
Margaret Zerwekh of Delafield, Wis. raises her hand as she is acknowledged by President Barack Obama during a ceremony awarding the Medal of Honor posthumously to Army First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing for conspicuous gallantry. President Obama acknowledged the work of Zerwekh, a 94-year-old amateur historian from Cushing’s hometown who painstakingly researched his story and lobbied Wisconsin’s congressional delegation for decades
First Lady Michelle Obama speaks during a special daytime workshop for high school students from military communities in the greater Washington area
Willie Nelson, right, and fellow panelist, songwriter Ted Peterson, left, hip hop recording artist Common, second from right, listen as Army Sgt. Christiana Ball responds to a question