It's a surprise move in the net neutrality debate, coming on the heels of a sellout proposal from cable-lobbyist-turned-cable-regulator Chairman Tom Wheeler that would have let the carriers continue to screw Americans out of access to the services they want to use if those services hadn't paid large-enough bribes for "premium carriage."
It's great to see Obama coming out on the right side of this debate. Would have been nice if he'd had this change of heart before he hired a dingo to babysit the nation's defenseless networks.
* No blocking. If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, your ISP should not be permitted to block it. That way, every player—not just those commercially affiliated with an ISP—gets a fair shot at your business.
* No throttling. Nor should ISPs be able to intentionally slow down some content or speed up others — through a process often called "throttling" — based on the type of service or your ISP's preferences.
* Increased transparency. The connection between consumers and ISPs — the so-called "last mile" — is not the only place some sites might get special treatment. So, I am also asking the FCC to make full use of the transparency authorities the court recently upheld, and if necessary to apply net neutrality rules to points of interconnection between the ISP and the rest of the Internet.
* No paid prioritization. Simply put: No service should be stuck in a "slow lane" because it does not pay a fee. That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet's growth. So, as I have before, I am asking for an explicit ban on paid prioritization and any other restriction that has a similar effect.
Obama: Treat broadband—including mobile—as a utility [Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica]
(Image: Light Switch, F Delventhal, CC-BY)