9 October 2014

President Obama on Net Neutrality

President Barack Obama answers a question during a town hall at Cross Campus in Santa Monica, Calif. October 9, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Excerpted from the White House transcript of President Obama’s remarks at Cross Campus, in Los Angeles, 9 October 2014:

On net neutrality, I made a commitment very early on that I am unequivocally committed to net neutrality. I think that it is what has — (applause) — I think it’s what has unleashed the power of the Internet, and we don’t want to lose that or clog up the pipes.

And so there are a lot of aspects to net neutrality. I know one of the things that people are most concerned about is paid prioritization, the notion that somehow some folks can pay a little more money and get better service, more exclusive access to customers through the Internet. That’s something I’m opposed. I was opposed to it when I ran. I continue to be opposed to it now.

Now, the FCC is an independent agency. They came out with some preliminary rules that I think the Netroots and a lot of folks in favor of net neutrality were concerned with. My appointee, Tom Wheeler, knows my position. I can’t — now that he’s there, I can’t just call him up and tell him exactly what to do. But what I’ve been clear about, what the White House has been clear about is, is that we expect whatever final rules to emerge to make sure that we’re not creating two or three or four tiers of Internet. That ends up being a big priority of mine.