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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 11/29/2010

AT&T ramps up lobbying effort against net neutrality at FCC

By Cecilia Kang

The Federal Communications Commission has seen a flurry of lobbying in the past two weeks, in anticipation the agency will pursue a vote on a net neutrality proposal next month.

AT&T was by far the most active in pushing its point of view that the agency shouldn't pusue rules. But if it does, executive vice president Jim Cicconi urged top offiicals and commissioners to pattern rules after legislation unsuccessfully pursued by Rep. Henry Waxman that provides light regulation of wireless networks and prevents the FCC from pursuing a separate proposal to re-regulating broadband providers.

Top AT&T executives have met or called Chairman Julius Genachowski's office eight times in the week leading up to Thanksgiving. CEO Randall Stephenson called Genachowski on Nov. 23, and "urged the Commission not to adopt regulations that lack sensitivity to the dynamics of investment in a difficult economy, or to the capabilities and challenges inherent in different broadband technologies," according to a filing at the FCC.

Since Nov. 17, Cicconi has met on five separate occassions with Eddie Lazarus, chief of staff to Genachowski to discuss a legislative effort by Waxman last September.

The FCC has also met with Public Knowledge, the Open Internet Coalition, and Amazon -- who are all in favor of open Internet rules. MetroPCS has met with officials, urging against rules.

If the FCC were to pursue a net neutrality rule next month, its ability to do so would likely be challenged in courts, analysts say. A federal appeals court last spring said the FCC overstepped its authority in sanctioning Comcast for slowing traffic for users of file-sharing application BitTorrent.

Related stories:

FCC delays December meeting; perhaps signaling net neutrality vote

Verizon echoes Comcast: Feds shouldn't reign over broadband service providers

By Cecilia Kang  | November 29, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  AT&T, FCC, Net Neutrality  
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We do not need the FCC to regulate the Internet - it is already adequately policed in "open source" manner, outside of the auspices of proprietary government regulation, as I have blogged on here:

Posted by: MikeWendy | November 29, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Slanted journalism. Note that they headline says, "AT&T ramps up lobbying effort against net neutrality," even though the article mentions THREE groups of lobbyists that are lobbying in FAVOR of unnecessary and harmful regulation of the Internet (which they misleadingly dub "network neutrality" even though it is not in any way "neutral); it favors certain large corporations and is anything but neutral).

A more accurate headline would be, "Google steps up lobbying for regulations that would protect its monopoly." (Note that Public Knowledge and the "Open Internet Coalition" are both lobbying outfits which lobby for Google.) But you won't see such accuracy from Cecilia Kang, better known as Google's Reporter at the Post. Kang always seems to push Internet monopolist Google's corporate agenda, which includes regulating the Internet in such a way as to lock out potential competition. Why? Could it be because advertising revenue from Google/Doublelick constitutes a substantial portion of her paycheck? Hmmm.

Posted by: LBrettGlass | November 29, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I strongly support net neutrality. The Internet has become our newspaper, our library, our encyclopedia, our source of information and our means of communication with practically everyone. It is crucial for the pursuit of our democracy. It should not be converted into an electronic bazaar. Moneyed interests should not control access to the Internet.

Posted by: edddd4 | November 29, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

In the event of war, the internet should not take sides.


Posted by: veritasinmedium | November 29, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

The FCC is not trying to regulate the internet. They are enforcing the same rules that govern radio and television, ensuring that all have equal and fair access - to broadband (the "pipes") - NOT the content, which is the Internet. If the big companies control the pipes then they can decide who gets to ride on them and at what speed. You'll be paying through the nose for their sanitized, corporate approved content and no critical voices will be heard. Only what they want you to see and pay for will get through. We must have net neutrality. If the telecoms have their way, the computer will become the new idiot box and your children will get the same "educational" material that currently runs on Saturday morning. You know, the same nonsense you find on the sugary cereal boxes and toy stores. How much dumber down can this country go?

Posted by: Misty630 | November 30, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

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