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Obama issues strong words on net neutrality as FCC considers hybrid approach




President Obama today urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take up the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality, the principle that says Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all internet traffic equally.

Learn more at WH.gov/Net-Neutrality.
President Obama today urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take up the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality, the principle that says Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all internet traffic equally. Learn more at WH.gov/Net-Neutrality.
The White House (via YouTube)

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President Obama on Monday weighed in on the net neutrality debate with the strongest words yet his administration has issued on the topic. In a statement he released, Obama called for internet service providers like Verizon and Comcast to be treated like a public utility, something as essential as phone service and electric companies. 

"I believe the FCC should create a new set of rules protecting net neutrality and ensuring that neither the cable company nor the phone company will be able to act as a gatekeeper, restricting what you can do or see online," Obama said, while noting that the Federal Communication Commission is an independent agency and that the decision is “theirs alone.”

Meanwhile, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is on the Hill today, apparently meeting with members of Congress to brief them on progress of new net neutrality rules, reports POLITICO.  One proposal the Wall Street Journal says he is entertaining is a hybrid approach, which would split up internet providers into two regulatory parts—one between internet service providers and consumers, the other between internet service providers and net companies such as Google. Under that framework, the latter would be heavily regulated by the FCC

Guest:

Gautham Nagesh, reporter for the Wall Street Journal that covers the FCC and tech policy who’s been following the story