President Obama’s Statement on Keeping the Internet Open and Free

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The President:
Hi everybody. Ever since the
internet was created, it’s been organized
around basic principles of openness, fairness,
and freedom. There are no gatekeepers
deciding which sites you get to access. There are no toll roads on
the information superhighway. This set of principles,
the idea of net neutrality, has unleashed the
power of the internet, and given innovators
the chance to thrive. Abandoning these
principles would threaten to end the internet
as we know it. That’s why I’m
laying out a plan to keep the internet
free and open. And that’s why
I’m urging the Federal
Communications Commission to do everything
they can to protect net neutrality
for everyone. They should make it clear that
whether you use a computer, phone or tablet, internet
providers have a legal obligation not to block or
limit your access to a website. Cable companies can’t
decide which online stores you can shop at, or
which streaming services you can use. And they can’t let any
company pay for priority over its competitors. To put these
protections in place, I’m asking the FCC to reclassify
internet service under Title II of a law known as
the Telecommunications Act. In plain English, I’m asking
them to recognize that for most Americans, the internet has
become an essential part of everyday communication
and everyday life. The FCC is an
independent agency, and ultimately this
decision is theirs alone. But the public has
already commented nearly four million times, asking
the FCC to make sure that consumers, not the cable
company, gets to decide which sites they use. Americans are making
their voices heard, and standing up for the
principles that make the internet a powerful
force for change. As long as I’m
president, that’s what I’ll be fighting for, too.

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