"One of the issues around net neutrality is whether you are creating different rates or charges for different content providers," Obama said at a business forum with African leaders. "That's the big controversy here. You have big, wealthy media companies who might be willing to pay more but then also charge more for more spectrum, more bandwidth on the Internet, so they can stream movies faster or what have you," he said. "The position of my administration, as well as, I think, a lot of companies here is, you don't want to start getting a differentiation in how accessible the Internet is to various user," Obama added. "You want to leave it open so that the next Google or the next Facebook can succeed."
[O]n Thursday, the commission voted 3 to 2 along party lines to consider two options. Under the first option, the F.C.C. would require cable and phone companies to provide their broadband subscribers a basic level of unfettered Internet service. But as long as that condition is met, telecom companies would also be able to charge businesses like Netflix fees to deliver their movies faster to consumers than others. Under the second option, the commission would reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service, akin to a public utility. That would allow for more stringent regulation that could prevent companies like Verizon and Comcast from engaging in unreasonable and unjust discrimination. Many consumer advocates like Public Knowledge and legal scholars like Tim Wu of Columbia Law School have recommended this option all along.