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The Obama administration said Tuesday that although the president “vigorously supports” a free and open Internet, he can’t order the Federal Communications Commission on how to proceed in re-instating Net neutrality protections. The statement was in response to an online petition asking that the White House to order the FCC to reclassify broadband providers as so-called “common carriers,” which would put them under the same regulatory framework as the traditional phone network. The petition, which has received more than 105,000 signatures, was launched in January after the DC Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the FCC’s Open Internet rules and questioned the agency’s authority to impose rules that dictate how broadband providers manage traffic on their networks.

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