Advanced Television

Obama: Beware of Internet fast lane

August 6, 2014

obamaUS President Barack Obama has warned about “big, wealthy media companies” providing differentiated Internet service depending on the ability to pay, suggesting that could stifle innovation.

The President was speaking at a US-Africa Business Forum. He said the Internet’s power is in its openness and talked about the need to protect edge providers like search engines and social networks.

“What facilitates that openness, and what has facilitated the incredible value that’s been built by companies like Google and Facebook and so many others, all the applications that you find on your smartphone, is that there are not restrictions,” he said. “there are not barriers to entry for new companies who have a good idea to use this platform that is open to create value,” he said. “And it is very important I think that we maintain that.”

“In the United States one of the issues around net neutrality is whether you are creating different rates or charges for different content providers. That’s the big controversy here. You have big, wealthy media companies who might be willing to pay more but then also charge more for more spectrum, more bandwidth on the Internet so they can stream movies faster or what have you.

“And I personally — the position of my administration, as well as I think a lot of companies here is you don’t want to start getting a differentiation in how accessible the Internet is to various users. You want to leave it open so that the next Google or the next Facebook can succeed.”

Categories: Articles, Broadband, ISP, Policy, Regulation