President Obama said he was a “strong supporter” of net neutrality and vowed the Federal Communications Commission would look at ways to maintain that policy despite a court ruling striking down their rules.
“We live under a system in which when a court rules, we have to respect that ruling initially,” said Obama in a Google+ Hangout, where he answered questions from the public. “But the FCC I know, and [Chairman] Tom Wheeler are looking at all the options at their disposal, potential appeals, potential rule-making, a variety of tools that they may have in order to continue to vindicate the notion of a free and open Internet.”
A federal appeals court in January struck down the FCC’s net neutrality rules. Those rules, issued in 2010, prevented internet service providers from prioritizing their own web content, forcing them to treat all internet data equally.
“It's something that I've cared deeply about ever since I ran for office, in part because my own campaign was empowered by a free and open Internet and the ability for citizens all across this country to engage and create and find new ways and new tools to mobilize themselves,” Obama said.
The president said that while he “can't meddle in the decision-making” at the FCC, he was “confident” that the agency would find ways to uphold their net-neutrality rules.
“I think you can feel confident that this administration will continue to support that,” said Obama. “There are going to be a lot of technical issues about how best we can get to that. And I know that they're still evaluating the court opinion.
“The one good piece of news coming out of this court opinion is the court did confirm that the FCC can regulate this space,” he added. “They have authority.”