Yesterday President Barack Obama re-affirmed his commitment to network neutrality principles and to the strongest rules to protect the open internet. The American Library Association (ALA) welcomes his statement and outline of principles that echo those of public comments filed by the ALA and a coalition of library and higher education organizations this year.
“The ALA heartily agrees with the essential elements of network neutrality affirmed by President Obama: no blocking, no throttling, increased transparency, and no paid prioritization,” said ALA Incoming President Sari Feldman. “As the President noted, these elements are ‘built into the fabric of the internet since its creation.’ In fact, the initial protocols for the internet were developed by institutions of higher education, and universities were the first to deploy private high-speed data networks that formed the test-bed for what later became the public internet.
“Since then, our nation’s libraries and institutions of higher education have become leaders in creating, fostering, using, extending and maximizing the potential of the internet for research, education and the public good. An open “neutral” internet is absolutely crucial to fulfill our missions and serve our communities.
“Further, we are heartened that both the President and recent statements from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler reflect an understanding that network neutrality must apply to both fixed and mobile broadband. We look forward to continuing to work with the FCC to secure strong, legally enforceable rules that ensure the internet remains an open platform for information exchange, intellectual discourse, creativity, innovation and learning for all,” Feldman concluded.