President Obama speaking on net neutrality

A few days ago President Obama held a Town Hall with Members of the Cross Campus Community and was asked a rather open ended question on Net Neutrality, this was his response (emphasis mine):

This is something I spoke about back in 08 ... On net neutrality I made a commitment very early on that I am unequivocally committed to net neutrality ... I think its what has unleashed the power of the internet and we don't want to lose that, or clog up the pipes, and so there a lot of aspects to net neutrality, I know one of the things people are most concerned about is paid prioritization. The notion that somehow some folks can pay a little more money and get better service, more exclusive access to customers through the internet. That's something I'm opposed[sic]. I was opposed to to it when I ran, I continue to be opposed to it now.

Now the FCC is an independent agency they came out with some preliminary rules that the Netroots and the folks in favor of the net neutrality were concerned with. My appointee, Tom Wheeler, knows my position. I can't, now that he's there, I can't just call him up and tell him exactly what to do, but what I have been clear about and what the White house has been clear about is, is that we expect whatever final rules emerge to make sure that we're not creating two or three or four tiers of internet. That ends up being a big priority of mine.

This is the thing, the Presidents appointment contradicts his position, Wheeler worked as a venture capitalist and lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry, the very industries that is looking to dismantle net neutrality laws. I have been somewhat critical of President Obamas appointees (Larry Summers and Tim Geithner come to mind) but this particular selection makes no sense for me at all. Tom Wheeler is simply doing what, he has been rewarded for doing almost his entire career, protecting and promoting the interests of the cable companies.

The full Town Hall is currently on the White House YouTube channel.


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