Obama pushes for strong net neutrality protections, including wireless
As a site that exists solely on the internet, whose focus is on devices that let you stay online and remain connected as you go about your lives, the state of the internet is understandably of paramount important to us. That’s why we’ve been so eager to talk to you about net neutrality, the common sense position that the networks that keep us all talking to each other should be equally open to all users, to all forms of traffic, without letting any preferential treatment degrade some services or block access to others. The US has been back-and-forth with its support for strong net neutrality protections for some time now, most recently swinging away from such net neutrality rules when it comes to wired broadband – and mobile’s always been a bit of Wild West situation, with broad leeway given in the name of “network management.” Luckily, we may be headed towards a future with much stronger net neutrality rules for wired and wireless services alike, as President Obama lays out his vision for an open, fair internet experience for all.
Obama cites four main tenets of his net neutrality push: no outright blocking of otherwise legal content, no throttling to artificially lower speeds for some services but not others, improved transparency from ISPs, and no special “fast lane” (and correspondingly, a “slow lane”) for traffic willing to pay extra fees.
If this were just for wired broadband, that would be one thing, but Obama also makes it clear that he’d like to see these same rules come into effect for mobile internet service, as well.
The only real dark cloud there is that he leaves the door open for “recognizing the special challenges that come with managing wireless networks,” which sounds to our cynical ears as a back door for mobile carriers to keep on largely doing whatever they want, but we still hold out hope that any new rules might have some real teeth to them.
Even with the White House firmly on the side of net neutrality, it’s still up to the FCC to implement any changes, and so far its commissioners have declined to enact such protections on their own. Whether or not Obama’s able to get them to change their priorities remains to be seen, but today’s statement, at the very least, gives us cause to be optimistic.
Source: The White House