White House Supports FCC And Net Neutrality But Won't Get Involved

The FCC’s effort to impose net neutrality rules suffered a setback when a federal court threw out some important sections of the measures, but as the agency fights back against Verizon, et al, it has a powerful ally in the White House.

Well, sort of. In a statement on the We The People blog (in response to a petition to get the common carrier designation fixed), Gene Sperling and Todd Park said that President Obama fully supports net neutrality and the FCC’s efforts to that end.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler

“Absent net neutrality, the Internet could turn into a high-priced private toll road that would be inaccessible to the next generation of visionaries,” reads the post. “The resulting decline in the development of advanced online apps and services would dampen demand for broadband and ultimately discourage investment in broadband infrastructure. An open Internet removes barriers to investment worldwide.”

However, the official support from the White House seems to end there, as the President is not planning to get directly involved--although Sperling and Park took the opportunity to note that he doesn’t have to be.

The FCC is a private agency, and chairman Tom Wheeler has the full authority of Congress to implement net neutrality rules. What the statement boils down to is that the FCC is hard at work plugging the holes in net neutrality rules and that the President doesn’t need to be involved because the agency will prevail on its own.

Still, it’s still generally a good thing when the President is on your side, in word if not deed.