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Obama Calls for Strong Net Neutrality Rules

FILE - Lori Erlendsson attends a pro-net neutrality Internet activist rally in the neighborhood where President Barack Obama attended a fundraiser in Los Angeles, California, July 23, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn (UNITED STATES - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLI

U.S. President Barack Obama has asked for the "strongest possible rules" to protect net neutrality and ensure Internet Service Providers treat all Internet traffic equally.

He made the request Monday to the Federal Communications Commission, which is writing new Internet traffic regulations.

Obama urged the FCC to ban any deals that would allow content providers to pay Internet providers to deliver their material more quickly, known as paid prioritization. He also said ISPs should not be allowed to block legal Internet content from consumers.

The president said the FCC should regulate consumer broadband services like a public utility.

Earlier this year, the FCC proposed widespread changes in the way the Internet operates in the United States.

The Federal Communications Commission voted in May to offer a plan that could allow such major Internet Service Providers as AT&T and Comcast to make deals with companies like Google and Facebook to provide them with faster paths for their content to consumers.

The controversial proposal, however, is opposed by consumer groups and some other Web companies. The White House says nearly four million public comments on the proposal were submitted to the FCC.

The White House adds Obama's proposal will "ensure the network works for everyone - not just one or two companies."

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