WASHINGTON February 1, 2010 – As a follow-up to President Obama’s State of the Union Speech last week, Obama sat down with YouTube’s news and political director Steve Grove to answer questions submitted and voted on by users of YouTube, which is owned by Google. The total number of votes cast were 774,450, on 14,476 questions, from nearly 65,000 users.
The number one question in the “jobs and economy” category came from James Earlywine of Indianapolis, who asked: “An open internet is a powerful engine for economic growth and new jobs. Letting large companies block and filter online content and services would stifle needed growth. What is your commitment to keeping the Internet open and neutral in America?”
“I’m a big believer in Net Neutrality,” said Obama.
“I campaigned on this. I continue to be a strong supporter of it. My FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has indicated that he shares the view that we’ve got to keep the Internet open, that we don’t want to create a bunch of gateways that prevent somebody who doesn’t have a lot of money but has a good idea from being able to start their next YouTube or their next Google on the Internet.”
He continued, “This is something we’re committed to. We’re getting pushback, obviously, from some of the bigger carriers who would like to be able to charge more fees and extract more money from wealthier customers. But we think that runs counter to the whole spirit of openness that has made the Internet such a powerful engine for not only economic growth, but also for the generation of ideas and creativity.”