“An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life”
US President Barack Obama has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to implement strong rules to protect net neutrality.
Net neutrality will prevent broadband companies like Verizon and Comcast from blocking or intentionally slowing down legal content if websites do not pay for a fast lane to reach consumers.
President Obama said that he wants the FCC to adopt rules including no blocking of legal content, no paid prioritisation or throttling, and improvement in transparency between consumers and ISPs.
He said FCC should classify the internet under Title II, of the Communications Act which states, "let anyone enter any communications business — to let any communications business compete in any market against any other."
Broadband companies have been trying to stop the FCC from imposing Title II because it is expected to give the FCC more power than ISPs.
President Obama said: "An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life.
"By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known.
"Net neutrality" has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation — but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted.
"We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas."