Obama's thank you note to net neutrality supporters

Obama's thank you note to net neutrality supporters

President Obama has two words for the millions of people who told federal regulators to move forward with tough rules for the Internet: “Thank you.”

After the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to issue tough net neutrality rules on Thursday, Obama issued a thank-you note through a page dedicated to the issue on the White House website. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“Today’s FCC decision will protect innovation and create a level playing field for the next generation of entrepreneurs — and it wouldn’t have happened without Americans like you,” he wrote.

“I ran for office because I believed that nothing can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change,” he added. “That’s the backbone of our democracy — and you’ve proven that this timeless principle is alive and well in our digital age.”

Obama has been a supporter of net neutrality since his first presidential campaign in 2008.

Last November, he released a widely publicized YouTube video to tell the FCC to move forward with the “strongest possible” rules by reclassifying broadband Internet service so that it can be treated similar to a public utility like phone lines. On Thursday, the FCC largely followed that call.

The FCC’s apparent willingness to follow Obama's call despite its status as a legally independent agency has angered critics, who accuse the president of politicizing the issue.

Thursday’s vote was possible in part because of a massive backlash after FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler last year released much weaker draft rules that would have allowed for companies to create “fast lanes” on the Internet.

In the end, about 4 million people issued comments to the FCC over the rules, which easily broke an earlier record set by Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” during the 2004 Super Bowl. Many of those urged the agency to toughen them up.