President Obama: commited to net neutrality, despite ISPs pushback
President Obama said Monday he remains committed to net neutrality despite a push-back from large Internet service providers who want to "extract more money from wealthier customers."
In a Q&A follow-up to his State of the Union address broadcast on YouTube, the president said that such a scenario "runs counter to the whole spirit of openness that has made the Internet such a powerful engine not only for economic growth but for the generation of ideas and creativity."
Obama said his pick to chair the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski, shares his beliefs. Genachowski is in the middle of crafting open-Internet rules that would make carriers treat all content equally -- not slowing or speeding or charging more or less for certain traffic that travels over their networks.
"We don’t want to create a bunch of gateways that prevent somebody who doesn’t have a lot of money but has a good idea from starting their next YouTube or Google on the Internet," Obama said.
The president's remarks come amid debate over the agency's authority to create such rules. Comcast, the nation's largest cable and Internet service provider, has sued the agency in a federal appeals court, asserting among other things that the FCC didn't have the authority to rule against it for allegedly blocking traffic from Web application BitTorrent. Comcast's position has been echoed by other industry representatives, including Verizon Communications' lead lobbyist, Tom Tauke, who said at a telecom conference last Friday that he thinks Congress has ultimate authority over broadband Internet services, not the FCC.
Video credit: Free Press
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