Obama Affirms Support for Open Internet

Obama Affirms Support for Open Internet

President Obama underscored his support for open Internet protections this week.

Our campaign to guarantee online free expression and protect 21st century democracy just got a big endorsement.

President Obama just said, “the position of my administration… is that you don’t want to start getting a differentiation in how accessible the Internet is to different users. You want to leave it open so the next Google and the next Facebook can succeed.”

“Differentiation” (“paid prioritization” in telecom speak) means that deep-pocketed firms can create fast lanes online for themselves and consign the rest of us to a slow lane. This is not an idle threat. Verizon recently stated that paid prioritization “should be permissible and should be tested.”

The only way for the FCC to stop paid prioritization is to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service. Anything less means fast lanes for the few.

But the Open Internet is about more than just fast lanes and slow lanes – it’s about democracy. Prioritizing corporate speech would make it much harder for alternative, diverse, or nonprofit voices to be heard. Without strong Open Internet rules, ISPs could even censor websites or services they find objectionable – for any reason.

The President answered the call of the millions of Americans who have already taken action in favor of real Open Internet protections.

Here’s what former FCC Commissioner and Common Cause special adviser Michael Copps said:

“The President’s statement is a lot clearer and clear-headed than the FCC’s discriminatory fast lane, slow lane proposal.  I hope the Commission is in listening mode.”

 There’s still time to tell the FCC to guarantee net neutrality once and for all. Take action here.