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President Obama: ‘I’m a Big Believer in Net Neutrality’

WASHINGTON — On Monday, in an “interview” conducted via YouTube as a follow-up to his State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama reaffirmed his strong commitment to maintaining an open and neutral Internet.

“I’m a big believer in Net Neutrality,” said President Obama, who has made the principle of Network Neutrality a centerpiece of his technology agenda. “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 Internet.”

“This is something we’re committed to,” he continued. “We’re getting pushback, obviously, from some of the bigger carriers who would like to be able to charge more fees and extract more money from wealthier customers. But we think 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.”

Obama’s answer came in response to a question from James Earlywine of Indianapolis, who asked: “An open Internet is a powerful engine for economic growth and new jobs. Letting large companies block and filter online content and services would stifle needed growth. What is your commitment to keeping the Internet open and neutral in America?”

YouTube collected questions and votes for five days after the State of the Union. The crowd-sourced interview was the first one given by the president since his speech. Earlywine’s question received more than 1,300 votes, placing it at the top of the list in the “jobs and economy” category.

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Source: Free Press

Paul Porter
Industry Ears