President Obama took questions via YouTube today, and professed a belief in net neutrality — not necessarily the generic net neutrality that most agree with — namely the idea that broadband providers shouldn’t block content or make companies pay for preferred delivery over their pipes — but a fairly specific vision that may even include resistance to allowing carriers deliver managed services or possibly tiered pricing on the consumer side.
“We’re getting pushback, obviously, from some of the bigger carriers who would like to be able to charge more fees and extract more money from wealthier customers. But we think that runs counter to the whole spirit of openness that has made the Internet such a powerful engine for not only economic growth, but also for the generation of ideas and creativity.”
The idea of carriers extracting more money from wealthier customers could apply to the large ISPs pressuring the big content providers to pay more for delivery, but Obama may be tying the idea of net neutrality to those same ISPs trying to extract more money from the end consumer through tiered pricing plans or higher fees. It’s unclear, but as far as I can tell net neutrality isn’t going to stop efforts to implement tiered pricing for broadband such as what Time Warner Cable proposed last year. His statements aren’t all that surprising given the Obama had campaigned on a pro-net neutrality platform, but it’s still worth checking out the video below.