Good Guy Obama Backs Net Neutrality, But Will It Actually Happen?

Obama has upset some (Republicans and cable companies) and pleased others (everyone else) by declaring that the open web should be protected, calling for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ensure net neutrality by adopting the strictest rules possible. Net neutrality means that all traffic on the web is treated equally, so businesses can't hand cable companies extra money to give their sites priority.

In the video above the president declares his views stating: "That's why I'm laying out a plan to keep the internet free and open, that's why I'm urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to do everything they can to protect net neutrality for everyone." Thanks POTUS. But not everyone's happy.

By putting in regulations to ensure net neutrality it means reclassifying the internet as a "common carrier," rather than an information service, under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.

Which means it would be akin to the telephone and means the government would have greater control over prices and services. Naturally cable companies don't like this, declaring that having the government interfere more could stifle innovation and have negative impacts on us, the consumer.

Others point out that it could set a precedent abroad where oppressive regimes could seek to further tighten controls over the internet. But net neutrality is a good thing for democracies and ultimately benefits the users and the principles of an open web, because it means that internet service providers (ISPs) must treat all internet traffic equally. Which is how it should be.

Still, that hasn't stopped the Republicans sending reactionary tweets and making ridiculous comparisons.

The Oatmeal (among others) responded to Cruz, pointing out exactly what net neutrality means, as he suspected it might've gone over Cruz's head.

The cable companies, who the Republicans support, were quick to express their unhappiness because their time monopolising access to the web may be over.

Comcast tweeted a reaction, saying Obama's move would "jeopardize this engine for job creation and investment as well as the innovation cycle that the Internet has generated."

Campaigners and senators who backed net neutrality were obviously pleased.

Other people didn't mix their words about what it means to have it.

But just because Obama is for net neutrality doesn't mean the rules and regulations to ensure it will automatically fall into place. The Republicans have been emboldened by their midterm victories and, being on-side with the cable companies, are wanting less regulations not more.

So they will fight for that. We'll just have to see whether the FCC are able to do the right thing.

If you want any further explanation on what net neutrality means and you want to be entertained too, John Oliver's video below is the perfect place to find both.

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