Obama backs net neutrality, says the internet should be classed as a utility

Obama backs net neutrality, says the internet should be classed as a utility

Internet access should be a utility. At least, that’s what many web denizens of America have wanted it to be for a long time, and now President Obama has thrown his weight behind them in support.

In a statement today, the President asks the FCC to reclassify broadband under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. In simple terms, this would officially define broadband as a vital part of every day life and give the FCC additional power in preventing bandwith prioritization for the highest bidder.

The statement comes as part of a larger effort by the White House to preserve net neutrality – the idea that all data on the internet should be treated equally so that businesses and internet providers can’t control what content you have access to.

To preserve net neutrality, Obama suggests the FCC enforce a number of rules, including:

  • No blocking of websites so long as they are legal
  • No throttling based on an ISP’s preferences
  • Increased transparency between ISPs and users
  • No paid prioritization to prevent wealthy businesses to be able to pay their  way to quicker speeds over the competition.

While this is not the first time the President has shown support for net neutrality, this is is his most detailed and effusive statement on the matter yet.

➤ Net Neutrality: President Obama’s Plan for a Free and Open Internet [The White House via The Verge]

Image Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Image

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