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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

By Cecilia Kang  |  February 1, 2010; 3:29 PM ET
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Given that Google gave nearly $1 million to the Obama campaign and a similar amount to the Obama transition team, and that several former and current Google employees (including a former lobbyist -- a violation of the Administration's pledge not to hire them) work in the White House or serve on its advisory boards, is it any wonder that the Obama Administration is continuing to support regulation that would benefit Google at the expense of the public? The truth is that the regulation would make the Internet less open, less innovative, and less competitive, but never mind that; it's good for Google.

And is it any wonder that this blog consistently favors Google and its agendas, given that advertising which appears on this page is served up by Google (making Google a primary source of this blog's revenue)?

Posted by: LBrettGlass | February 1, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Brett, you sad paranoid man. No matter how many times you are explained how online advertising works; no matter how many times your conspiracy theories are debunked; no matter how many calls from the police you get for harassment, you plough on with your one man crusade against Google.

Here's a thought. Go ahead and block all your customers from accessing Google pages, Skype, eBay, or the sites of the hundreds of other groups supporting the Open Internet. Go ahead, then see how much your customers are willing to pay for your crapy slow and expensive service.

Posted by: AmyBandini | February 2, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

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