Obama's Net Neutrality Plan Criticized, Is Reportedly Being Considered By FCC

Chris CrumBusiness

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Earlier this week, President Obama urged the FCC to reclassify Internet service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. He said that ultimately, it's their decision as they're an independent agency, but added that four million people publicly commented, asking the agency to "make sure that consumers - not the cable company - gets to decide which sites they use."

Where do you stand on the issue? Let us know in the comments.

The White House laid out a four-point plan for protecting net neutrality:

In an article called "61% Oppose Federal Regulation of the Internet," Rasmussen Reports says:

Americans really like the online service they currently have and strongly oppose so-called “net neutrality” efforts that would allow the federal government to regulate the Internet.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 26% of American Adults agree the Federal Communications Commission should regulate the Internet like it does radio and television. Sixty-one percent (61%) disagree and think the Internet should remain open without regulation and censorship. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.

According to that, 19% believe more government regulation is the best way to protect Internet users and 56% think more free market competition is the best protection. 25% are undecided, it says.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post on the subject under the title "Ted Cruz: Regulating the Internet threatens entrepreneurial freedom."

"The next generation of Internet-connected devices, apps and services will generate trillions of dollars of global economic growth in the years ahead. And Americans are perfectly poised to take maximum advantage — if the government doesn’t take those opportunities away in the form of crushing taxes, rules and regulations,' wrote Cruz. "Yet the threats from Washington to stifle freedom, entrepreneurship and creativity online have never been greater. Washington politicians want the money, and they want more and more control over our speech."

He went on to discuss "four basic principles," which he said should guide policy makers "in a bipartisan manner, to preserve America's leadership role in developing the future of the Internet."

These include "abandon[ing] the idea of further taxing Internet access and sales," "dismiss[ing] all plans to give nations hostile to human rights and democracy more influence over Internet policy," "promoting growth in the technological sector," and "recognizing that our constitutional rights are digital rights, too".

He also referred to the Internet as a haven for entrepreneurial freedom and "The American Dream 2.0".

Mark Cuban is also voicing opposition to Obama's plan. When asked if he's concerned about the potential for small businesses to be stifled by internet providers, he told Business Insider, "I'm more concerned the government will f--- it up."

Asked if he was worried internet providers would hurt startups, he told them, "Hell no. Since when have incumbent companies been the mainstays for multiple generations? There will be so much competition from all the enhancements to wireless that incumbent ISPs will have to spent their time fighting cord cutting."

Cuban also tweeted additional thoughts at Chris Dixon:

It's worth noting that Cuban claims to have voted for Obama in '08.

According to a report from The Huffington Post, which contradicts an earlier one from The Washington Post, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is open to Obama's plan, and that he "told a gathering of business representatives and public interest groups that he was taking the president's comments under advisement and that he would need the groups' support in the coming fight over net neutrality."

Obvoiusly there are a lot of opinions about how net neutrality should be handled. Here's what others are saying:

Do you think Obama's plan is the right or wrong way to go? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Image via YouTube

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.