AT&T ramps up lobbying effort against net neutrality at FCC
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.
| November 29, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories: AT&T, FCC, Net Neutrality
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