WASHINGTON POST: Silicon Valley once cheered the election of President Obama, comforted by his stance that Internet service providers should be banned from charging Web sites such as Facebook or Netflix for faster access to American homes. And for much of the past six years, tech firms felt shielded from the possibility that the Internet would ever have separate slow and fast lanes for traffic. But on Thursday, the government is poised to vote on a plan that could make that scenario a reality. Tom Wheeler, a Democratic Obama appointee, is pressing new rules at the Federal Communications Commission that would allow an Internet service provider such as Verizon to charge YouTube, for instance, for higher-quality streaming of videos. The proposal has sparked an outcry of protest from Obama’s earliest supporters — consumer advocates, high-tech firms and investors, and from Democratic lawmakers. The FCC, which for years heard only from a handful of phone companies about its policymaking, has been flooded with more than 100,000 e-mails and calls to commissioners’ offices from consumers voicing concern about protecting the principle known as “net neutrality,” which says that all content should be treated equally online. This week, a small group of demonstrators camped in tents outside the agency’s headquarters, calling for Wheeler to drop his “pay for play” rules. A question-and-answer session this week on Twitter with one of Wheeler’s top aides made “#FCCNetNeutrality” one of the top trending terms on the site for the Washington region. Silicon Valley is “very frustrated,” said Marvin Ammori, a technology-policy consultant who helped organize a letter of protest to the FCC from more than 100 tech start-ups and big companies including Google, Facebook and Yahoo. Ammori said the tech community picked Obama over Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2008 primaries after he aggressively courted them, partly with his stance on the Internet. “They were the only really rich people in 2008 who weren’t already rich in 1996 and therefore not part of the Clinton family legacy,” Ammori said. MORE