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President Obama’s call for strong rules against Internet slow lanes a positive sign for Internet users around the world

For Immediate Release


President Obama's call for strong rules against Internet slow lanes a positive sign for Internet users around the world


OpenMedia commends the President’s commitment to strong rules that would protect the open Internet


November 10, 2014 This morning U.S. President Barack Obama released a decisive statement urging the FCC to use the strongest measures possible to ensure strong net neutrality rules keep the Internet an open playing field, stating “no service should be stuck in a ‘slow lane’ because it does not pay a fee.”


International digital rights organization OpenMedia welcomes this strong statement from the President, as recent rumors reported in the Wall Street Journal suggested that the FCC was still considering rules allowing slow lanes online. In his statement, President Obama directly refers to Title II reclassification, a strong and enforceable approach that Internet freedom advocates - including OpenMedia - have been fighting to implement for the past year, saying: “I'm asking the FCC to classify Internet services under Title II of the law known as the Telecommunications Act.”


FCC chairman Tom Wheeler welcomed Obama comments but also signalled new delays in the process, "We must take the time to get the job done correctly, once and for all, in order to successfully protect consumers and innovators online."


Responding this morning’s announcement, OpenMedia Campaigns Manager Josh Tabish said, “It looks like the writing is on the wall for the FCC Chair Tom Wheeler. Over 5.1 million people from 180 countries around the world, hundreds of businesses, hundreds of public interest groups, and even his own President, are now calling for the strongest rules possible to stop slow lanes online. It would be absurd to think that he’s going to ignore this growing consensus and nobody is falling for his delay tactics.”


Tabish continued: “Together, we have made things clear for FCC: all signs point to real net neutrality and a ban on Internet slow lanes through Title II reclassification, which would guarantee that the Internet remains an open playing field for innovators, entrepreneurs, and everyday Internet users. Obama’s words further delegitimize the plan hatched by Big Telecom giants and their army of lobbyists to selectively slow down Internet services for users.”


With Obama’s statement putting pressure on the FCC to come down on the side of Internet users, positive rules should be announced by the end of this year.


OpenMedia has joined with over 60 organizations from 25 nations to launch Big Telecom vs. The World, bringing 180,000 people from around the world have signed on to the campaign. It was part of a wider effort that has seen over 5 million speak out to stop Big Telecom’s Internet slow lane, and Internet users can speak out at https://BigTelecomvsTheWorld.org/


About OpenMedia.org


OpenMedia.org is an award-winning community-based organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy by engaging hundreds of thousands of people in protecting our online rights.






Josh Tabish

Campaigns Manager, OpenMedia.ca




About OpenMedia’s Big Telecom vs. The World campaign


The Big Telecom vs. The World (https://bigtelecomvstheworld.org/) campaign includes a resource-packed campaign website, an extensive social media campaign, and information on how people can connect with campaigns on the ground in countries around the world. Internet users are also invited to host their own net neutrality teach-in using Mozilla’s Maker Party Kit.  


Groups supporting the international campaign include: Affinity Bridge, Arab Digital Expression Foundation, Backbone Campaign, BitTorrent, BlobgExpression, Boing Boing, Briteweb, Centre for Law and Democracy, Cheezburger, ColorOfChange, Consumer NZ, Council of Canadians, Credo, cStreet Campaigns, Daily Kos, Daily Sangbad, Diritti Digitali, Electronic Frontiers Australia, Ethics and Health Foundation, Fark, Fleurieu Communications, Fundación Karisma, Fundación Vía Libre, Gen Why Media, Green Laurels, Greenpeace International, Greenpeace U.S., GrowthLogic Inc., Hiperderecho, IBIDEM - Instituto Beta para Internet e Democracia, I-Vission (Cameroon), Iraqi Network for Social Media, IT for Change, Korean Progressive Network Jinbonet, Louder, May First/People Link, Microzip Data Solutions Inc., Million Monarchs, Movimento Mega, Other98, Popular Resistance, Public Knowledge, rabble.ca, reddit, Roots Action, SumOfUs, Top 21 Systemhaus GmbH, ThoughtWorks, Thunderclap, TunnelBear, Urban Integration Working Group, Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press.


People everywhere are speaking up to defend net neutrality and the Open Internet at https://BigTelecomVsTheWorld.org



More Information


  • Net Neutrality, Monopoly, and the Death of the Democratic Internet. Source: Motherboard

  • FCC's new net neutrality rules opposed by 100+ internet companies (update: vote still on schedule). Source: Engadget.

  • Internet traffic from around the globe passes through U.S. servers, peering, and content delivery networks. As a result, it’s likely that web traffic from outside the U.S. could get caught in the slow lane. Source: Motherboard.

  • Protesters set up camp at net neutrality rally outside FCC headquarters. Source: The Guardian.

  • OpenMedia fought for and won Canadian Open Internet rules that should prevent Big Telecom discriminating against competing services. We even flew in some of the original architects of the Internet to the CRTC hearing.

  • CRTC report shows Internet openness complaints went up in 2012 - see this media advisory.

  • OpenMedia.ca’s crowdsourced Casting an Open Net Plan calls for net neutrality audits and penalties for companies in breach of net neutrality.

  • CRTC will rescind ‘unlimited use’ Internet decision – or Ottawa will overturn it. Source: The Globe and Mail

  • OpenMedia.ca: Regulators pull back from usage-based billing after half-a-million Canadians speak out

  • "If using the Rogers 3G or LTE network, for only $5/month, customers can enjoy 10 hours of viewing on their device" (This means non-Rogers content is unfairly more expensive than Rogers-owned content.) Source: Google Play