Obama Urges FCC to Adopt Strict Rules on Net Neutrality

Obama Urges FCC to Adopt Strict Rules on Net Neutrality

FILE - This Aug. 1, 2014 file photo shows President Barack Obama speaking in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. The president spoke on various topics including the economy, immigration, Ukraine and the Middle East. The White House is crafting a blame-it-on-Congress legal justification to back up President Barack Obama's impending executive actions on immigration. Facing an expect onslaught of opposition, the administration plans to argue that by failing to provide enough resources to fully enforce U.S. laws, lawmakers have ceded wide latitude to White House to prioritize deportations, administration officials and legal experts said. But Republicans, too, are exploring their legal options for stopping Obama from what they’ve deemed an egregious presidential overstep. (AP Photo/Connor Radnovich, File)
(AP Photo/Connor Radnovich, File)

Michael D. Shear, THE NEW YORK TIMES

WASHINGTON (The New York Times) — President Obama on Monday put the full weight of his administration behind an open and free Internet, calling for a strict policy of so-called net neutrality and formally opposing deals in which content providers like Netflix would pay huge sums to broadband companies for faster access to their customers.

The president’s proposal is consistent with his longstanding support for rules that seek to prevent cable and telephone companies from providing special access to some content providers. But the statement posted online Monday, as Mr. Obama traveled to Asia, is the most direct effort by the president to influence the debate about the Internet’s future.

In the statement, and a video on the White House website, Mr. Obama urged the Federal Communications Commission to adopt the strictest set of neutrality rules possible and to treat consumer broadband service as a public utility, similar to telephone or power companies.