President Barack Obama released a statment through his press secretary this afternoon on the FCC’s new net neutrality proposal.
There’s no meat to it. Obama says he favours net neutrality, but provides no opinion on what direction the FCC should take. It sounds like he’s playing this one right down the middle.
Here’s the full statement:
The President has made clear since he was a candidate that he strongly supports net neutrality and an open Internet. As he has said, the Internet’s incredible equality — of data, content, and access to the consumer — is what has powered extraordinary economic growth and made it possible for once-tiny sites like eBay or Amazon to compete with brick and mortar behemoths.
The FCC is an independent agency, and we will carefully review their proposal. The FCC’s efforts were dealt a real challenge by the Court of Appeals in January, but Chairman Wheeler has said his goal is to preserve an open Internet, and we are pleased to see that he is keeping all options on the table. We will be watching closely as the process moves forward in hopes that the final rule stays true to the spirit of net neutrality.
The President is looking at every way to protect a free and open Internet, and will consider any option that might make sense.
The FCC’s proposal would allow internet companies to pay internet service providers directly for “fast lane” access to customers. This preferred access has the potential to stifle competition from startups and other companies that can’t afford to pay those fees.