Obama Stands Behind Network Neutrality

In an
Monday (Feb. 1) on YouTube, President Barack Obama gave a
shout-out to network neutrality and his FCC chairman.

In the interview, the president said he continued to be a
strong supporter for network neutrality legislation, as he was as a senator.

"I'm a big believer in net neutrality," he said.
"I campaigned on this. I continue to be a strong supporter of it. My FCC
Chairman Julius Genachowski has indicated that he shares the view that we've
got to keep the Internet open, that we don't want to create a bunch of gateways
that prevent somebody who doesn't have a lot of money but has a good idea from
being able to start their next YouTube or their next Google on the

Genachowski and the FCC's Democratic majority have proposed
expanding and codifying the commission's network openness principles.

The president said the network neutrality was getting
"pushback" from "bigger carriers," who he said want to
charge more to "extract more money from wealthier customers." He said
that "runs counter to the whole spirit of openness that has made the
Internet such a powerful engine for not only economic growth, but also for the
generation of ideas and creativity."

Those carriers have generally agreed that the Internet needs
to be open and accessible, but also argue that new rules could discourage
investment and innovation and that variable pricing models for different levels
of service are not inconsistent with openness .

The interview was conducted by YouTube political director
Steve Grove based on questions submitted online after the State of the Union

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.