Big news out of the White House this morning: President Obama released a statement —in the form of a custom landing page on whitehouse.gov —laying out in no uncertain terms a strong defense of the kind of real Net Neutrality that we and the startup community have been long asking for from the FCC.
The statement makes clear that the White House supports reclassification of the Internet under Title II:
"So the time has come for the FCC to recognize that broadband service is of the same importance and must carry the same obligations as so many of the other vital services. To do that, I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act — while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services."
This isn't the first time the President has spoken in favor of an open Internet, but this is the first time he's publicly supported reclassification, which is the only way to ensure real Net Neutrality. Encouragingly, the statement also fully supports the extension of strong rules to mobile. (It's worth reading the full statement from the White House, which you can find here.)
The following can be attributed to Julie Samuels, Executive Director of Engine:
The White House's action shows that it has listened to nearly 4 million Americans who have made their voices heard in this important public debate and heard the concerns of countless startups who have made clear that only reclassification supports a level playing field where everyone has an equal chance to succeed. Which, of course, is the promise of the Internet.
We applaud President Obama's leadership on this issue and we look forward to working with the White House to ensure the FCC follows the President's lead. To be certain, the fight for an open Internet is not over. But this morning we've taken an important step that puts us one step closer to real Net Neutrality. We hope is a signal of things to come.