Why Hasn't The Obama Administration Weighed In On The FCC's Net Neutrality Comment Period?

from the take-a-backseat-to-no-one? dept

Marvin Ammori has a good article over at Slate questioning why the Obama White House does not appear to have submitted comments with the FCC concerning net neutrality. As you know by now, the FCC received over 3 million comments when the commenting period finally closed on Monday -- but so far, it does not appear that the Obama administration weighed in (it's possible that not all comments are in the database yet, but still...). While you might think this isn't a huge deal -- Obama has said he supports net neutrality (indeed, campaigned heavily on it originally), Ammori notes that it is somewhat odd. The administration frequently does submit its own comments on other FCC issues:

While President Obama campaigned heavily on net neutrality and recently reiterated his support for it, he hasn’t filed a thing to the FCC. The president has alluded to the FCC being an independent agency, and therefore suggested he should not publicly encourage the commission to fulfill his campaign promises. Yet since becoming president, his Executive Branch has submitted more than 200 filings to the FCC in over 80 proceedings. (If you want proof, see this spreadsheet.)

If the administration were to file comments, it might come through a White House office, such as the National Economic Council or the Office of Science & Technology Policy, or the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). In 2009, the NTIA submitted comments telling the FCC that the “NTIA expects to offer views on the issues presented in [the network neutrality] rulemaking at the appropriate time.” You would think that we have reached the appropriate time. But President Obama has stood largely silent while his FCC chairman, Tom Wheeler, barrels toward dismantling an open Internet and threatening the entire economy that now rides atop it.

The commenting period seems like it would have been the appropriate time for at least some part of the administration to weigh in. Even with 3 million other comments, a comment coming from the administration would not get lost in the process. Instead, the President seems to be more or less admitting that his campaign promises on net neutrality were simply empty promises.
Obama has proclaimed that he “will take a backseat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality.” By not commenting in the FCC proceeding, the president has taken a back seat to dozens of tech companies, including Etsy, Kickstarter, Vimeo, Reddit, and Tumblr, the AARP, dozens of senators and members of Congress, and millions of people that have strongly filed or commented in favor of real, strong Title II network neutrality. It’s time for that to change.

Filed Under: administration, barack obama, comment period, fcc, net neutrality, open internet, title ii


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  • icon
    Vidiot (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 2:35pm

    Perfect excuse

    The President couldn't post comments to the FCC; he exceeded his monthly bandwidth cap.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 4:08pm

      Re: Perfect excuse

      His comments are actually in transit on the internet. It's just that they've been crowded out due to paid prioritization schemes.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 4:02pm

    Simple Answer

    Why would a president that has done so much to assert control over the people that elected him want to destroy that control by making the Internet anything other than a one way street, the broadcast Internet (with the exception of listening in on everyone in the world)? Future presidents would not look kindly on making control more difficult. They will (at least try to) write the history, true or not.

    Oh, and then there is the money flowing from 'People' (aka corporations) that want to control the next election cycle. Can't let those democrats whom might benefit down.

    One cannot control what one lets off the leash. This is not the way of doublethink (defined as the acceptance of or mental capacity to accept contrary opinions or beliefs at the same time, especially as a result of political indoctrination).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 4:35pm

      Re: Simple Minds ...

      Yeah - it was all peaches 'n cream before that guy took office, way to screw up all of W's missions accomplished.

      Either McCain or Romney would have created paradise by now fer sure! But no ... look what we got instead.

      Look it's simple, all the makers need are a few more tax breaks and then all us takers will get those awesome jobs at the end of the rainbow. Personally I can't wait - it's like being a kid at Christmas but the libtards declared war on that! Not to mention all the alien terrorist ebola infested children crossing the border.

      Thanks Obama

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 4:44pm

        Re: Re: Simple Minds ...

        I did not suggest either that Obama was the originator of the mess nor that anyone else would have been better (how could we know for sure).

        Fact is, this mess started long ago, and was recognized by Eisenhower in his Military, Industrial, (newly added Intelligence) complex speech. We are still looking for a way out.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2014 @ 6:16am

          Re: Re: Re: Simple Minds ...

          Your addendum should have appeared in the original post.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            GEMont (profile), 23 Sep 2014 @ 2:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple Minds ...

            Truly simple minds, believe this is actually a partisan matter, and that one political gang is honest while the other is not.

            In a pseudo-democracy (fascist capitalists wearing democrat and republican badges), the goal is simply to fool the majority of people all of the time.

            Apparently, the majority are the Simple Minds.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 4:09pm

    Come on guys was this really a surprise ,they all lie cheat and steal their way into public office ,only to lie cheat and steal once they get there. besides ,If he supports it he'll lose that cushy job he's been promised after he leaves office.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    another AAC, 17 Sep 2014 @ 4:53pm

    In a democracy everything a politician promises should not have an escape clause, especially in this land of law! There should be accountability what a political candidate promises at the campaigns. Lets start this as an experiment with the presidential runs. So at least future presidents do not hijack the country with promises!

    Seriously, folks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    toyotabedzrock (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 4:58pm

    Well, he was declaring a war, dealing with Russia etc.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 5:10pm

    cause isis is a terrorist threat we need to bomb them now

    cause isis is a terrorist threat we need to bomb them now
    {am i out of trouble with people at home yet }
    cause isis is a terrorist threat we need to bomb them now
    {are they listening to me }
    cause isis is a terrorist threat we need to bomb them now

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 5:35pm

    Why Hasn't The Obama Administration Weighed In On The FCC's Net Neutrality Comment Period?

    Because Obama's a wimp. He's a spineless shell of a man who lets people push him around. He could've stood up for the beliefs he had as a candidate, but he couldn't take the pressure, and now he's a broken man; dead inside to the point where he can announce that his administration tortured people without so much as batting an eye. He's not going to make a public statement unless he feels he has to, and even then he won't make a statement unless the companies that own him sign off on it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 6:05pm

    Isn't Obama owned by big telecom and big media?

    I thought it had already been demonstrated beyond doubt that Obama is owned by big media and telecommunications.

    Are we asking that question just to point to this truth again?

    Granted, he's lame duck anyway, but they could probably make his life uncomfortable. They could wreck the careers of his allies in his name.

    But we've already established that our representatives are owned by monied interests, that ours is an oligarchy that has no interest in the welfare of the people except in regards to how it affects work forces, and that people don't vote for their best interests when they can be manipulated through campaigning and culture to do otherwise.

    So there's no real question here: Comcast has Obama by the short-and-curlies and Obama is going to only do exactly what they say.

    Eight years a slave.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 17 Sep 2014 @ 9:19pm

    "Why Hasn't The Obama Administration Weighed In On The FCC's Net Neutrality Comment Period?"

    They have no interest in having net nuetrality benefit you and I.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 18 Sep 2014 @ 6:35am

    Obama does what he wants and tells people what they want to hear

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ac, 18 Sep 2014 @ 6:57am

    re Obama's silence

    Uh, could it be because this is one issue the left and right are united on, and he doesn't want to polarize it when it's going his way?

    Do ya think?

    Seriously, do you ever think as opposed to just find the highest voltage outrage narrative that pops into our minds and grab it with both hands?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2014 @ 7:12am

      Re: re Obama's silence

      Dude, man, we're talking about American politics. You need to just take your level-headedness and go back out the way you came before someone gets hurt. This is the internet; go be rational somewhere else.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Benjamin Wade, 18 Sep 2014 @ 7:57am

    Tell Obama about the fund-raising opportunity.

    Why can't someone with a loud political voice, like Techdirt or Daily KOS, post the clip of Obama saying he supported Net Neutrality, and mentioning the HUGE opportunity to use his support for Net Neutrality as a fund-raising issue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Whatever (profile), 18 Sep 2014 @ 10:32am

      Re: Tell Obama about the fund-raising opportunity.

      I think because just like Bush junior at the end of his presidential term, Obama has become generally unliked, mostly powerless, and stuck fighting a war in part to prove that he still has some potency.

      Using his image, name, and opinion would be a negative at this point.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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