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President Obama Weighs In on Net Neutrality

President Barack Obama
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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign rally for Democratic challenger for Wisconsin Governor Mary Burke at North Devision High School on October 28, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Voters go to the polls November 4, 2014.

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President Obama has issued a statement calling on the Federal Communications Commission to reclassify broadband web access under Title II, a classification which would give the FCC broad regulatory powers over how data is transmitted and treated by companies providing access to consumers. The statement comes on the heels of a rumored "hybrid" solution that would see different types of data traffic reclassified according to whether they are between a provider and a consumer, or a service such as Google and the broadband provider. While the proposal was never made official (chairman Tom Wheeler will make the FCC's official proposal public on Dec. 11), reaction was largely negative, with many saying the move would not address the core worry of many in the net neutrality debate, that broadband transmissions should be treated the same regardless of their destination or point of origin.

Obama's statement in favor of Title II will give Wheeler and the FCC some ballast if they decide to pursue reclassification, a move that would undoubtedly bring broadband providers like Time Warner and Verizon (whose court win earlier this year was the catalyst for this debate) to circle the wagons.

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