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President Obama calls for tighter rules from the FCC -- leaving a little bit of wiggle room -- in an effort to preserve a "free and open Internet."
In a statement released Monday, Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to enforce the principle of treating all Internet traffic the same way, known in shorthand as Net neutrality. That means treating broadband services like utilities, the president said, so that Internet service providers would be unable "to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas."
Some of the major broadband providers have already spoken out against the plan. "Reclassification under Title II, which for the first time would apply 1930s-era utility regulation to the Internet, would be a radical reversal of course that would in and of itself threaten great harm to an open Internet, competition and innovation," Verizon said in an e-mailed statement.
Obama, however, said that the FCC should limit some of the regulation relating to rates and "other provisions less relevant to broadband," creating potential wiggle room for further debate on the limitations.
This is a basic acknowledgment," Obama said, "of the services ISPs provide to American homes and businesses, and the straightforward obligations necessary to ensure the network works for everyone -- not just one or two companies."