On Monday morning, President Obama released a written statement coming out in full support of Net Neutrality. The President ran on the platform for net neutrality, so for many of his supporters, it is refreshing to see him embrace it again.
?Net neutrality? has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation ? but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted.? We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas.? That is why today, I am asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to answer the call of almost 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.
It is important to remember that the FCC acts as an independent agency, the President has no authority over them. What we saw this morning was the President joining the 3.7 million people who sent comments to the FCC surrounding net neutrality.
So what is Net Neutrality exactly? Network Neutrality, as it is formally referred to, is basically taking your access to the internet and telling phone or cable companies who supply the service, that they can not tamper with your access. This means no one gets preferential treatment, eliminating so called “fast-lanes” for customers who pay more. Treating the Internet like a public service, such as phone and electricity, would ensure that these corporations, that have a pretty tight monopoly on their users, are not giving preferential treatment to some sites but not others. Net Neutrality levels the playing field and makes sure that, no matter the dustiest corner of the internet, you will be able to find it.
An example of “fast-lanes” in the internet came in February of this year, when Netflix struck a deal with Comcast. The deal was that Netflix would pay Comcast to ensure easier streaming on their site; this leaves other sites who don’t have the money to broker a deal, in the “slow-lane.”
After the President’s press release, and accompanied video, people took to Twitter to express their reactions. The majority of Twitter users expressed thanks and excitement, rallying behind the President:
I am so happy to read the president’s statement on #NetNeutrality today. This is the strong, unambiguous message I’ve been waiting for.
— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) November 10, 2014
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) November 10, 2014
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) November 10, 2014
Of course, as with anything the President seems to do, there were critics:
— Brett Glass (@brettglass) November 10, 2014
— The Daily Rupert (@TheMurdochTimes) November 10, 2014
Poll after poll shows that the majority of people want the government to do less, not more. Net Neutrality is "more." Say no. #NetNeutrality
— RB (@RBPundit) November 10, 2014
And of course, this amazing gem from Senator Ted Cruz.
"Net Neutrality" is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 10, 2014
Net Neutrality would make is so we could all see Senator Cruz’s tweets, and come together to support any resolution he is against. I am for Net Neutrality, are you?