Obama wants FCC to remove roadblocks on internet, private sector disagrees


NEW DELHI: President Barack Obama has urged the American telecom regulator Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to keep the internet open and free.


But this plea will give a blow to top US wireless carriers who are looking to control price and quality of internet services.

The FCC is already in the process of considering new rules for how to safeguard competition and user choice. “Ensuring a free and open internet is the only way we can preserve the internet’s power to connect our world,” Obama said.


“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. I am asking the FCC to answer the call of 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality,” said Obama.


However, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), an association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of high-tech communications networks, said: “We are concerned over President Obama’s endorsement of reclassifying the internet as a Title II utility-like telecom service. Such a move would set the industry back decades, and threaten the private sector investment that is critically needed to ensure that the network can meet surging demand.”


“We saw a significant negative impact on investment the last time restrictive Title II regulation was in place, and no one will benefit from returning to that failed policy.  As manufacturers and suppliers who build the internet backbone and supply the devices and services that ride over it, our companies strongly urge regulators to refrain from reclassification that will guarantee harm to consumers, the economy, and the very technologies we’re trying to protect,” said TIA CEO Scott Belcher.


Four years ago, the FCC tried to implement rules that would protect net neutrality with little to no impact on the telecommunications companies that make important investments in the economy.


Earlier, the court reviewing the rules agreed with the FCC that net neutrality was essential for preserving an environment that encourages new investment in the network. The court ultimately struck down the rules because it believed the FCC had taken the wrong legal approach.


Obama said there should be no blocking and throttling by ISPs. There should be more increased transparency. Some sites should not get more treatment.


Some companies should not enjoy paid prioritisation. Wireless carriers should not keep some services in “slow lane” because it does not pay a fee. “That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the internet’s growth. I am asking for an explicit ban on paid prioritisation and any other restriction that has a similar effect,” Obama said. FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act — while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services.


Referring to the White House proposal, AT&T senior executive VP, external & legislative affairs Jim Cicconi said, “If the FCC puts such rules in place, we would expect to participate in a legal challenge to such action.”


Time Warner Cable, a top cable company, remains committed to an open internet, but disagrees with President Obama’s statement that an open internet can only be achieved by reclassifying broadband as a public utility.


“Regulating broadband service under Title II, as the President proposes, will create uncertainty, lead to years of litigation and threaten the continued growth and development of the internet. The FCC has sufficient tools without reclassifying broadband to protect the openness of the internet, while at the same time encouraging continued investment and innovation in the internet ecosystem,” said Time Warner Cable chairman and CEO Rob Marcus.

Latest Reads

ALTBalaji to tap into international market with YuppTV

Balaji Telefilms Ltd’s digital venture ALTBalaji has entered into a partnership with YuppTV. Users across the globe will be able to enjoy easy access to ALTBalaji’s premium content on YuppTV platform.

iWorld Over The Top Services
Hotstar creates record of 10 mn plus concurrent viewers for IPL finale

MUMBAI: They helped Hotstar hit a world record for concurrent online viewing a few days ago with 8.26 million viewers in the IPL first qualifier game on 22 May. Once again, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) helped Hotstar create a new record of over 10 million concurrent...

iWorld Over The Top Services
YouTube Red rebranded as YouTube Premium with expanded reach in 14 countries

MUMBAI: YouTube Red, the ad-free subscription video on demand (VOD) service launched in October 2015, has been rebranded as YouTube Premium on 17 May 2018. The rebranded service, YouTube Premium, will be rolled out soon in existing YouTube Red markets like US, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Hotstar and Akamai create internet history

Hotstar, India’s leading premium streaming platform, leveraged Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the world’s most trusted and largest cloud delivery platform, to create streaming history on 22 May 2018 during the first qualifier match of VIVO IPL 2018. The match between Sunrisers Hyderabad...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Netflix most valuable media company for a short while

Netflix’s aggressive growth is becoming increasingly inevitable. For a brief period, the streaming giant emerged as the most valuable media company in the world on Thursday with a record high stock value. On Wednesday, it was already closely approaching Disney’s market value and the very next day...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Jio led broadband while Hathway led wired broadband subs growth in 2018

India witnessed 5.24 percent growth in broadband internet customers in the month of March 2018 (Mar-18) according Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) data for the month ended 31 March 2018. Hence, 205.4 lakh (20.54 million, 2.054 crore) broadband subscribers were added in March 2018

iWorld Broadband
Netflix beats Comcast in market value

MUMBAI: Streaming giant Netflix, on its upward journey, has surpassed Comcast’s market value owing to a new record high of its stock price. Netflix’s market value stands closer to Disney now. While Netflix ended yesterday with a total market cap of $152.8 billion, Comcast ended with $147.15...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Turner using Accenture's video solution platform for its OTT products

Turner is relying on Accenture’s video solution platform to help manage and operate some of the company’s over-the-top content (OTT) products including FilmStruck in the UK, and Cartoon Network TV Everywhere (TVE) in Asia Pacific.

iWorld Over The Top Services
YouTube web series to showcase road safety awareness across India

MUMBAI: YouTube is launching a novel web series in India called That Good Ugly Day which it claims isn’t like any other in terms of creativity and disseminating social messages. The series is said to have shocking incidents with zero fiction plotting. The first episode which will focus on road...

iWorld Social Media

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories