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The numbers for November 10, 2014

Tony Wagner Nov 10, 2014
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Stakes have been raised in the fight for an open Internet.

President Barack Obama took a strong stance for net neutrality on Monday morning. In a recorded statement, Obama called for the Federal Communications Commission to reclassify broadband as a utility, like water or electricity, under Title II of the Communications Act.

The FCC, which is independent from Congress and the White House, actively sought comment from the outside on the issue. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the commission would add Obama’s input to the 3.7 million-comment pile that they’ve already received.

The FCC was originally expected to introduce new rules by the end of the year, but Wheeler has said they will take more time.

Republicans hope to update the Communications Act for the first time since 1996, and net neutrality will play a role. Texas Senator Ted Cruz signaled further politicization of the issue by calling net neutrality “Obamacare for the Internet,” in a tweet after the president’s announcement.

Here are the other stories we’re reading and numbers we’re watching: 

45

“Sesame Street” debuted 45 years ago, on November 10, 1969. To mark the occasion, The Atlantic dug up its initial review of the show, which praised the Muppets but lambasted the show’s potential, thanks in part to its “great stress on the alphabet.” On Marketplace, we’ve explored Elmo’s dominance in toy sales, “Sesame Street”-branded schools overseas and where different characters fall on the economic spectrum. What does Oscar the Grouch care about most during the election? Stimulus spending.

8,019,763

That’s how many people bought a health plan using an insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates there are about 20 million more potential buyers. The latest iteration of Healthcare.gov went live Sunday night and open enrollment starts this weekend. Vox breaks down what to expect from round two of the ACA.

1 percent

That’s the portion of Internet time people spend on Twitter, according to a Morgan Stanley chart featured on Quartz. Compare that to Facebook, which accounts for about 15 percent of time spent online. It’s no wonder Facebook wants to publish content directly.  

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