On Thursday, during a Town Hall meeting with members of the Cross Campus Community President Obama reiterated his commitment to Net Neutrality. His comments seem to be in line with his campaign position but in opposition to the current proposal that is before the FCC at this time.
Obama said: “I made a commitment very early on that I am unequivocally committed to Net Neutrality… Tom Wheeler, knows my position. I can’t-now that he’s there-I can’t just call him up and tell him exactly what to do. But what I’ve been clear about, what the White House has been clear about, is that we expect that whatever final rules to emerge, to make sure that we’re not creating two or three or four tiers of Internet.”
Earlier this year, the FCC proposed new regulations that would allow Internet service providers to charge websites like Facebook or Netflix more to operate at higher speeds, creating what net neutrality advocates have called an Internet fast lane. Many tech companies have spoken out against the proposed regulations, which could put smaller Internet companies at a great disadvantage and relegate them, by adding tolls, to the slow lane. The proposal also drew public outrage received over 3 million public comments on the issue. The FCC operates as an independent agency within the executive branch much as the Internal Revenue Service does.
It is unclear what impact Obama’s words would have in regard to Net Nuetrality since the FCC is an independent agency.