President Obama voices opposition to Internet ‘fast lanes’ proposal

Adam Westlake - Oct 12, 2014, 12:00pm CDT
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President Obama voices opposition to Internet ‘fast lanes’ proposal

Having campaigned in support of net neutrality during the 2008 election, President Barack Obama last week spoke out in opposition to recent FCC proposals that threaten to bring about “paid prioritization.” Obama said he was against the creation of internet “fast lanes,” which would allow ISP to charge users a higher price for faster speeds when it comes to content and data.

This proposal of splitting the internet into two “lanes” is one part of net neutrality regulations that has been put forth by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Wheeler’s loyalties have long been questioned as a former lobbyist for the cable industry. But while Obama has previously made it clear that he feels their should not be a division of the internet, commenting in August, “You don’t want to start getting a differentiation in how accessible the Internet is to different users,” he himself is the one who appointed Wheeler to his current position.

The whole situation is unfortunate, for while Obama seems genuine in his comments about the importance of net neutrality, where was the foresight when it came to putting someone in charge of the FCC? See, while Obama may be sharing the view of a majority of Americans, what the president says has no effect on the issue, as the FCC is independent and the decision is solely up to them.

Some 3.7 million public comments have been sent to the FCC in recent months after they asked for feedback on their website about the topic of net neutrality. A significant majority of these comments were clearly opposed to the idea of internet fast lanes. So while Obama’s statement have been helpful in reaffirming what the American people want, the next real question is what the FCC should do in order to prevent the creation of a two lane system.

SOURCE NY Times


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