Obama Just Announced His Full Support to Preserve Net Neutrality

AP/Wang Zhao

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In a move strongly backing net neutrality regulations, President Barack Obama announced his plan to reclassify the internet as a utility in order to preserve the web’s “basic principles of openness and fairness.”

Net neutrality has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation — but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas.

In the announcement, Obama urged the FCC to implement four “common-sense steps” to help protect net neutrality, including increased transparency and the prohibition of paid-priority gatekeeping by internet service providers.

The decision, however, remains up to the FCC, which has thus far proposed new changes to allow content providers to pay cable companies for so-called “fast lanes” of service. Net neutrality advocates say the proposed rules are a threat limiting access to the open internet.

“Simply put: No service should be stuck in a ‘slow lane’ because it does not pay a fee,” Obama said in the Monday morning statement. “That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet’s growth.”

Unsurprisingly, the GOP is not happy with the president’s plan:

Watch Obama’s announcement in full below:

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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