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Obama calls for strong rules against Internet slow lanes

President Obama call for strong rules against Internet slow lanes a positive sign for Internet users in Canada

OpenMedia commends Obama’s commitment to strong rules that would protect the open Internet, including Canadian Internet users and businesses.


November 10, 2014 – This morning U.S. President Barack Obama released a decisive statement urging the FCC to use the strongest measures possible to ensure strong net neutrality rules in the U.S. that would keep the Internet an open playing field, stating “no service should be stuck in a ‘slow lane’ because it does not pay a fee.”


OpenMedia welcomes this strong statement from the President, as recent rumors reported in the Wall Street Journal suggested that the FCC was still considering rules allowing slow lanes online. In his statement, President Obama directly refers to Title II reclassification, a strong and enforceable approach that Internet freedom advocates - including OpenMedia - have been fighting to implement for the past year, saying: “I'm asking the FCC to classify Internet services under Title II of the law known as the Telecommunications Act.”


FCC chairman Tom Wheeler welcomed Obama’s comments, but also signalled new delays in the process, " We must take the time to get the job done correctly, once and for all, in order to successfully protect consumers and innovators online."


Responding this morning’s announcement, OpenMedia Campaigns Manager Josh Tabish said, “It looks like the writing is on the wall for the FCC Chair Tom Wheeler. Over 5.1 million people from 180 countries around the world, hundreds of businesses, hundreds of public interest groups, and even his own President, are now calling for the strongest rules possible to stop slow lanes online.”


Tabish continued: “Together, we have made things clear for decision-makers at the FCC: all signs point to real net neutrality to prevent Internet slow lanes from being imposed on users. While we may not live live in the U.S., many of our favorite websites do – a fact that makes this decision hard for Canadians to ignore. What’s worse, there’s no telling what kind of problems slow lanes on the Internet could cause for Canadian businesses who want to access customers in the U.S.”


In Canada the CRTC is currently reviewing a case where Bell Canada has been accused of marking up competing online services (by 800%) on mobile services as a ploy to limit online choice.


With Obama’s statement putting pressure on the FCC to come down on the side of Internet users, positive rules should be announced by the end of this year.


OpenMedia has joined with over 60 organizations from 25 nations to launch Big Telecom vs. The World, bringing 180,000 people from 180 countries around the world into the campaign. It was part of a wider effort that has seen over 5 million speak out to stop Big Telecom’s Internet slow lane, and Internet users can speak out at https://BigTelecomvsTheWorld.org/

ENDS

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