President Calls For Title II Regulation By FCC To Preserve Net Neutrality
November 10, 2014 at 7:35 AM (PT)
President OBAMA is calling for the FCC to reclassify broadband Internet as a Title II service for purposes of regulation as a common carrier in order to block companies for requiring "toll lane" payment for faster access to users.
In a video on Net Neutrality released by the WHITE HOUSE MONDAY (11/10), OBAMA said that he is "asking the FCC to reclassify Internet service under Title II of a law known as the Telecommunications Act," saying that abandoning the principles of Net Neutrality would portend "the end of the Internet as we know it." He called on the Commission to enforce a legal obligation for ISPs not to block or slow access to websites or streaming services." The Internet, the President said, "has become an essential part of everyday communication and everyday life."
And in a statement also released today, OBAMA wrote, "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 four million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality ... 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."
Wheeler: More Work To Do
The President's words drew comment from FCC Chairman TOM WHEELER, who agreed that "the Internet must remain an open platform" and voiced opposition to "Internet fast lanes," but noted that in investigating hybrid applications of Title II and Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act to the Internet, the Commission found that "The more deeply we examined the issues around the various legal options, the more it has become plain that there is more work to do. The reclassification and hybrid approaches before us raise substantive legal questions. We found we would need more time to examine these to ensure that whatever approach is taken, it can withstand any legal challenges it may face. For instance, whether in the context of a hybrid or reclassification approach, Title II brings
with it policy issues that run the gamut from privacy to universal service to the ability of federal agencies to protect consumers, as well as legal issues ranging from the ability of Title II to cover mobile services to the concept of applying forbearance on services under Title II."