Internet fast lanes, or offering better service for those who pay for it, are widely criticized by Internet users and tech industry officials. Not only could it result in a higher cost for Internet services, but it could also result in slower Internet speeds and prioritized content (some content being readily available, while other content is not).

In a speech made on Oct. 10 in Santa Monica, Calif., President Obama said that he was "unequivocally committed" to net neutrality and against the idea of Internet fast lanes, which could lead Internet service providers to charge extra for speed.

Obama has always supported net neutrality and has previously spoken about how important it was to his own campaign, which ended with him being elected president in 2008.

"I know one of the things people are most concerned about is paid prioritization, the notion that somehow, some folks can pay a little more money and get better service, more exclusive access to customers through the Internet," says Obama. "That's something I oppose. I was opposed to it when I ran; I continue to be opposed to it now."

The FCC's previous chairman, Julius Genachowski, created regulations on net neutrality in 2010 that contained language about "unreasonable discrimination" by Internet service providers. This doesn't ban fast lanes, but suggests they are against regulations. However, those regulations were dismissed earlier this year by a federal appeals court, stating that the FCC did not have the right to enact regulations on Internet providers unless the FCC reclassified them as common carriers.

Of course, Internet service providers don't want such a reclassification because then they would be regulated like utility companies, which means that their rates are also regulated.

The FCC is an independent agency, and makes its own decisions. So far, though, it's received nearly four million comments on a new proposal being worked on, with most of those comments calling for rules that protect net neutrality. The agency is considering two options, which may end up being combined in their final regulations: either going ahead and reclassifying Internet service providers or using a different part of the law that states that everyone should have access to broadband Internet.

Obama, who appointed new FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, says that he's made his position clear to the agency.

"What I've been clear about, what the White House has been clear about, is that we expect whatever final rules to emerge to make sure that we're not creating two or three or four tiers of Internet," says Obama. "That ends up being a big priority of mine."

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