FCC Chairman: Obama’s ‘Open Internet’ Comments a Welcome Addition

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Earlier today, President Obama outlined his plan for net neutrality, urging the FCC to reclassify broadband as a common carrier under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler responded, saying the President’s voice was a welcome addition to the conversation and that his “submission” would be added to the record for the Open Internet proceeding.

Wheeler added that the agency needs more time to come up with the appropriate solution:

The more deeply we examined the issues around the various legal options, the more it has become plain that there is more work to do. The reclassification and hybrid approaches before us raise substantive legal questions. We found we would need more time to examine these to ensure that whatever approach is taken, it can withstand any legal challenges it may face. For instance, whether in the context of a hybrid or reclassification approach, Title II brings with it policy issues that run the gamut from privacy to universal service to the ability of federal agencies to protect consumers, as well as legal issues ranging from the ability of Title II to cover mobile services to the concept of applying forbearance on services under Title II.
 
I am grateful for the input of the President and look forward to continuing to receive input from all stakeholders, including the public, members of Congress of both parties, including the leadership of the Senate and House committees, and my fellow commissioners. Ten years have passed since the Commission started down the road towards enforceable Open Internet rules. We must take the time to get the job done correctly, once and for all, in order to successfully protect consumers and innovators online.

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