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AT&T Mobility

"Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T have spent $572 million..."


Chaotic Evil

by 2 Jurors

AT&T Mobility branded and referred to as AT&T, formerly Cingular Wireless LLC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T Inc. that provides wireless services to 107.3 million subscribers in the United States, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. AT&T Mobility is the second largest wireless telecommunications provider in the United States and Puerto Rico. AT&T Mobility is headquartered in the Lenox Park area of DeKalb Co. Georgia, just outside Atlanta.

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Hitler may be a badass, but he's downright evil. Moral Indicator is, as its name suggests, a measurement of someone's morality. Is he a good guy? Is he a villain? You decide!

img Matt Galligan posted a review

Net neutrality—the rule that protects the Internet from government and corporate censorship—is incredibly popular. In poll after poll, overwhelmingly majorities of Independents, Republicans, and Democrats say they support net neutrality and oppose efforts to overturn it. 

So why is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) trying to kill net neutrality? As usual, follow the money.

In the past decade, three of the largest Internet service providers in the U.S. (Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon), and the cable industry's top trade group (NCTA), have spent a combined $572 million on lobbying the FCC and the federal government on net neutrality and other issues. All four organizations are ranked among the top 20 lobbying spenders in the U.S.

If net neutrality is repealed, these ISPs would have more control over how information flows on the Internet, giving them new opportunities for rent-seeking and profit. They would get new powers to slow down parts of the Internet, or block them entirely, and then charge subscribers new fees to have their access restored. They would also be able to enter into “paid prioritization” deals with websites and apps so they load faster than their competitors.

ISPs like Comcast and Verizon have been fighting against net neutrality for years. They have tried violating the rules, challenging them in court, getting Congress to pass loopholes, and confusing the public through misinformation.  

Now they have one of their own as the Chairman of the FCC, former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai, and they are advocating for the agency to repeal the rules. On May 18, 2017, the FCC officially voted to begin the process of repealing the FCC’s authority to enforce net neutrality and eliminating restrictions on ISPs from engaging in paid prioritization, website blocking, and throttling. The FCC’s repeal of net neutrality could be finalized as soon as this fall.  

Not surprisingly, Internet users and web companies are fighting back. Already more than 7 million people have submitted comments to the FCC expressing their outrage. On the massive July 12, 2017, day of action, hundreds of websites, including Amazon, Reddit, and Google, called on Internet users to take action to defend net neutrality. More than two million public comments were sent to the FCC, setting a new record for the most ever sent in a single day.  

Following the day of action, Pai told reporters that the record-setting public response wasn’t going to impact his actions, and that he would not be altering his plans to repeal net neutrality. Pai has repeatedly stated that he is only interested in considering input that includes a cost benefit analysis, citing an academic study that was secretly funded by AT&T. The fact that millions of people feel their lives and livelihoods would be hurt by the repeal of net neutrality does not appear to interest him.

on July 18, 2017

Hitler may be a badass, but he's downright evil. Moral Indicator is, as its name suggests, a measurement of someone's morality. Is he a good guy? Is he a villain? You decide!

img Dennis Westwood posted a review

A study by Maplight indicates that for every one comment submitted to the FCC on net neutrality (and there have been roughly 5 million so far), the telecom industry has spent $100 in lobbying to crush the open internet. The group found that Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) have spent $572 million on attempts to influence the FCC and other government agencies since 2008.

And, with a former Verizon lawyer leading the FCC's assault on popular net neutrality protections, it's obvious these efforts have clearly paid off after a rocky start. 

"The FCC’s decision, slated to be announced later this summer, will be a clear indicator of the power of corporate cash in a Trump administration," notes the report. "Public sentiment is on the side of keeping the Obama administration’s net neutrality policies, which prevented internet companies from blocking, slowing or giving priority to different websites."

Congressional lobbying forms indicate that Comcast alone has spent nearly $4 million on lobbying Congress on net neutrality issues from the end of 2014 through the first quarter of 2017. Comcast was, of course, an early player in the conversation after it was caught repeatedly lying about throttling all upstream BitTorrent connections back in 2008.

Writer Andrew Jerell Jones also points out how Comcast-owned NBC News, CNBC and MSNBC can rarely be bothered to reveal their parent company's lobbying on this subject, or in fact cover net neutrality in their news reporting much at all. Even purportedly "progressive" MSNBC has been frequently criticized for rarely talking about the subject.

"NBC News, CNBC and MSNBC haven’t disclosed their company’s lobbyist spending on Capitol Hill during that time period," he notes. "And outside of a few news segments on CNBC - with either big tech figures expressing their support for net neutrality or telecom giants railing against it - Comcast networks have rarely featured or even mentioned the online topic on their shows at all, despite their gigantic Capitol Hill lobbyist spending on net neutrality."

Again, Comcast and other major ISPs' attacks on net neutrality come despite broad, bipartisan support for the rules. All of this spending and willful omission comes to a head tomorrow as net neutrality supporters intend to launch a online day of action to protest the FCC's plan to kill the current rules -- which protect consumers from duopolist ISPs looking to use the lack of broadband competition to additional anti-competitive advantage.

on July 13, 2017
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ATandT Mobility

Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T have spent $572 million on lobbying the government to kill net neutrality
Book rating: 12.5 out of 100 with 2 ratings