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Stop the Secrecy

Obama calls for strongest possible net neutrality rules… And saves the Internet?

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 17:44 -- Josh Tabish

As you may have heard, this morning, U.S. President Barack Obama came out with a decisive statement calling for the strongest possible rules to prevent slow lanes on the Internet. You can read the details in the statement we put out here, but the short version is that Obama unequivocally, and unambiguously committed himself to keeping the Internet an open playing field, stating “no service should be stuck in a ‘slow lane’ because it does not pay a fee.”

Importantly, this statement is the clearest the President has ever been on this issue. He specifically says, “I'm asking the FCC to classify Internet services under Title II of the law known as the Telecommunications Act.” This is the only way to 100% guarantee that the Internet is maintained as an open playing field, and is what Internet advocates and over 5.1 million people from around the world have been calling for since FCC Chair Tom Wheeler since he first began considering Big Telecom’s Internet slow lane plan.

This is a game-changer. You can read the very thorough, detailed, and accessible overview of what this means for the the public, Big Telecom, and the FCC, from our friends at The Verge.

But right now, we want to talk with you about the role YOU (yes you!) played in this story.

At the end of September, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with senior White House officials, including R. David Edelman, who today held a reddit AMA on Obama’s big announcement. I joined a large delegation of representatives from leading Internet freedom groups and tech companies urging the President to make a bold clear statement on the future of the open Internet. Given today’s news: we can officially confirm that our mission was successful.

Together with the millions of you who spoke out, our movement convinced Obama to speak out in favour of the strongest net neutrality rules possible – Title II – and we would have never been able to do that without your support.

In broad strokes, here’s how it worked:

We still have a little ways to go – but this is a gigantic win. Wheeler actually responded to the President’s statement by saying he may need more time. But he doesn’t – he needs to do the right thing and follow the very clear path that the President, hundreds of tech companies, and hundreds of public interest groups, and millions around the world have laid out for him.

While we wait for the FCC to announce their rules, which could come as early as the end of this month, we need to keep the pressure up. If you haven’t already, please sign or share our Big Telecom v. The World Campaign, and let the FCC know where you stand.