Another letter against net neutrality: organized by telecom PR group
The lobbying machine around net neutrality is going into high gear. Navigators Global, a public relations and consulting firm in Washington, is rounding up economists to sign onto a letter warning against new rules at the FCC.
Navigators Global’s clients include AT&T, Bell South Communications, Qualcomm and industry coalition MyWireless.org, which has advocated against net neutrality rules.
In an e-mail obtained Tuesday by The Post, Navigators’ principal, Cesar Conda, a former economic policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, said the letter would say a new net neutrality rule would hurt jobs and investments.
Signatures included former Federal Reserve Board governor Lawrence Lindsey, Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute, and Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Hudson Institute, according to the e-mail seeking more signatures.
Catie Horst, a spokeswoman for Navigators, said Conda was organizing the effort but declined to comment. Conda didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. An AT&T spokesman, when asked about the effort, referred this reporter to the organizers of the letter.
Here's an excerpt from the joint letter, which hasn't been filed:
“We are terribly concerned that proposed Internet regulations now under consideration at the Federal Communications Commission may represent a policy mistake that will undermine efforts to create jobs and rebuild prosperity. By restricting the business opportunities of operators of our nation's telecommunications and broadband networks, these so-called "net neutrality" rules would sharply reduce the incentives for new investment in network infrastructure. Curtailing investment will also curtail the ability of this sector to create new jobs and even to sustain existing employment.”
Earlier today, 21 economic experts also warned the FCC against new net neutrality rules. A report, funded by Verizon, dove into the economic analysis of why such a rule could hurt the economy. The parties that signed onto the report said there weren’t enough examples of harm to the marketplace or market failure to warrant a new rule.
In a voice-mail message, the report’s author, Jeffrey Eisenach, noted that Post Tech’s previous story appeared to focus too much on the funding of the report. He emphasized that none of the co-signatories received compensation from Verizon.
“To give as much weight as you did to the funding by Verizon and as little to the substance of the report was dismissive,” he said.
April 12, 2010; 4:37 PM ET
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