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President Obama asks FCC to reclassify ISPs under Title II
For years now, we have heard President Obama support net neutrality yet stop short of actually pushing a specific plan that achieves such a goal. One likely reason for the ambiguous talk from President Obama could be that he knows how unilaterally opposed the broadband industry is to Title II classification.
Now, the President is making it clear that he supports the reclassification of ISPs under Title II in order to protect network neutrality.
“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,” stated Obama. “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.” – President Obama, WH.gov
One reason that Obama has decided to move forward with his support was due to the four million comments that the government received on neutrality (a majority push for Title II protections). The FCC is currently making new rules on whether to allow internet providers to offer so-called “fast lanes.”
Obama’s proposal urges the FCC to prohibit ‘paid prioritization’ or deals in which content providers would pay Internet companies to ensure smooth delivery of online traffic. He also asked the FCC to stop the practice of ‘throttling’ which AT&T has come under fire for due to a recent FTC lawsuit.
Another significant step for Obama was his willingness to finally ask the FCC to consider applying these rules to mobile internet. Previously, mobile service haven’t been subject to the net neutrality rules that wired connections have been.
Obama’s support doesn’t mean that the FCC will listen to him but it does finally make clear which direction the White House will push towards in the future.
In response to the President’s statement, Verizon wrote that they also “supports the open Internet” but believes that the FCC “already has sufficient authority under Section 706 to adopt rules that address any practices that threaten harm to consumers or competition.” Yet, as this site has discussed previously, Verizon loves to enjoy the Title II benefits yet pretend that the internet would be destroyed if the broadband industry was classified under Title II.