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WGA West thanks Obama for support on tougher net-neutrality rules

WGA West thanks Obama for support on tougher net-neutrality rules
Chris Keyser, above, president of the Writers Guild of America, West, said net-neutrality rules backed by President Obama will "prevent a few online gatekeepers from picking winners and losers and will allow creativity, innovation and free speech to flourish." (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

The Writers Guild of America, West, thanked President Obama for reiterating his support for an "open Internet."

On Monday, Obama urged the Federal Communications Commission to strengthen proposed net-neutrality rules for Internet traffic, including making broadband providers subject to stricter federal regulation similar to the rules governing telephone companies.

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The WGA West said it has supported such action for years and has filed comments with the FCC asking it to take these "reasonable and necessary steps" to protect competition and innovation on the Internet.

"On behalf of WGAW members, I commend President Obama for taking an unequivocal stance on how best to protect the open Internet," WGAW President Chris Keyser said in a statement.

"Reclassification of broadband service as a Title II telecommunications service recognizes that the open Internet works just like the phone lines and will allow the FCC to institute the strong rules the president calls for — no blocking, no throttling, increased transparency and no paid prioritization."

Keyser added that the policies outlined by Obama will "prevent a few online gatekeepers from picking winners and losers and will allow creativity, innovation and free speech to flourish."

In May, the FCC voted to begin a formal rule-making process to consider regulations on Internet traffic after previous net-neutrality rules were mainly struck down by a federal court.

While consumer groups favor regulating broadband service providers under the Telecommunications Act, Internet service providers and most Republicans have objected to the idea, contending it would stifle competition and innovation on the Internet.

Twitter: @rverrier

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