AT&T lobbyist asks employees, their families and friends to protest net neutrality rules
AT&T's top lobbyist, Jim Cicconi, sent a letter to all of the telecom giant's 300,000 employees on Sunday, urging them to express their concerns over a net neutrality proposal under consideration by the Federal Communications Commission. Check out his letter and comments on the Actuarian Outpost Web site.
The letter was the latest move in a lobbying frenzy days before the FCC votes on a proposal to create new net neutrality regulations. High-tech giants wrote to the agency to support the rules, while dozens of lawmakers from both parties have protested the rules as potentially dangerout to economic growth.
"We encourage you, your family and friends to join the voices telling the FCC not to regulate the Internet," Cicconi wrote in his letter. The company verified the letter.
Cicconi explained how employees could use a personal e-mail account to post comments on the FCC's net neutrality Web site to about the rules. He said the comment period had been extended until Thursday, when the agency's five commissioners are scheduled to vote on a proposal that would begin the formalization of rules.
"Those who seek to impose extreme regulations on the network are flooding the site to influence the FCC," he wrote. "It's now time for you to voice your opinion."
Cicconi has criticized FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's push to strengthen and broaden rules for how Internet service providers treat content on their networks. Cicconi said such rules should not apply to wireless networks, which have less capacity than fixed wireline networks like cable. He has said that AT&T Mobility and other mobile broadband providers should not be strapped by new rules when it comes to managing broadband traffic congestion.
In the letter, he offered several talking points.
1.Wireless consumers enjoy a many options for mobile services;
2. Competition in the wireless industry is strong;
3. AT&T and other carriers need flexibility to manage their networks;
4. Net neutrality rules could hamper a goal of the White House to bring broadband to every U.S. household;
5. If the FCC passes the new regulations, the rules should apply to more than just network operators and should also include Web content companies like search engines.
October 20, 2009; 9:00 AM ET
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