President Obama announced on Monday that he's asking the FCC to reclassify the Internet under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, which would essentially render it a utility.
“In plain English, I’m asking them to recognize that for most Americans, the Internet has become an essential part of everyday communication and everyday life,” he said, noting that the FCC is an independent agency, and that ultimately, it’s their decision.
You can read his whole statement and view video of him talking about it here.
Many people and companies are commenting on Obama's move, and Etsy, which gives independent artists a means of selling their work, put out a blog post applauding the President's "strong stance" on the issue of the open Internet. Etsy's Althea Erickson writes:
We applaud the President’s strong stance on this issue, and urge the FCC to take action this year to protect the Internet and the millions of micro-businesses who depend on it to reach consumers.
This morning, the President said what the Etsy community has been saying for months: there should not be a two-tiered Internet, where big companies pay for fast lanes, leaving the rest of us in the slow lane. We want the Internet to continue to be a level playing field, where businesses succeed based on the value of their products, not the depths of their pockets.
Etsy has been championing net neutrality since last spring, and has submitted formal comments, met with the FCC's chairman, and participated in FCC roundtables. According to Erickson, over 30,000 members of the Etsy community contacted the FCC and Congress as part of the #InternetSlowDown campaign.
There are even numerous items for sale that sellers have made, supporting an open Internet.
CEO Chad Dickerson had this to say: “I’m thrilled to see President Obama stand with Etsy and our sellers in calling for strong net neutrality rules under Title II. The President has proved that he truly is a champion of the Internet. I urge Chairman Wheeler to follow suit.”
Etsy is in the process of expanding its presence in the physical world, as it recently began giving its sellers free card-readers to help them expand their Etsy-based businesses.
Image via Etsy