Obama Said Yes: ‘There Is No Higher Calling than Protecting an Open, Accessible and Free Internet’

The U.S. president is urging the Federal Communications Commission to reaffirm “net neutrality.” The proposal is to treat Internet network suppliers the same as electrical, water or gas suppliers, and to offer these services to everyone in the same way.

It was President Obama who addressed the issue directly and is pushing the FCC to reaffirm net neutrality. So, when the FCC votes on the new regulations on Feb. 26, it will propose treating Internet network suppliers more or less in the same way as electrical, water or gas suppliers, meaning that these services would be offered to everyone in the same way. The problem currently facing the authorities is that they don’t know whether this move would slow down innovation, as many critics fear, or would pave the way to better access to Internet services for the population.

The problem with net neutrality started when leading Internet network providers, like Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T or Verizon, asked to make some changes. Essentially, they wanted to have the ability to offer access at variable speeds, based on customers’ ability to pay. This would favor some content authors and penalize others, and it would also generate resources that Internet providers could reinvest to innovate and upgrade the Internet.

After lengthy discussions and meetings held at the White House, it was Obama himself who decided that the best way forward was to fully support net neutrality. In fact, according to the head of the White House, net neutrality is a democratic principle to be protected, and it would also favor the development of the Internet, far more than what leading Internet service providers could achieve using the profits they would generate through favoritism. In this way, Tom Wheeler, head of the FCC, bowed to Obama’s demands and announced his proposal to treat Internet service providers as any other utility company. The proposal will be adopted by a vote on Feb. 26; then it will remain to be seen whether or not the new measures will foster innovation and advancement of the Internet.

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