Thursday, October 22, 2009

Telecom Firms Face Net-Neutrality Defeat

This is great news.  If you know me, you know how strongly I support net neutrality.

neutral-bits "This is totally new in Washington, that opposed to only the old Goliaths like AT&T, or traditional public utilities commissions or large insurance companies at the table, they are now joined by others like tech growth companies," said Mark Heesen, president of the National Venture Capital Association, a trade group that represents the investors of Web giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon.

The vote is on a proposal that would begin a months-long process to formulate rules on how Internet service providers manage traffic on their networks while not blocking or unfairly slowing some content. The proposal, favored by Chairman Julius Genachowski, is expected to pass with three votes out of five.

AT&T and other wireless and cable providers say the proposal amounts to giving the government control over the Internet, and that companies will lose the ability to reduce congestion on their networks. Web service providers such as Google and Skype counter that they need unfettered access to all Internet users because the carriers could decide to block services that compete with their own.

A flood of calls, e-mails

In recent weeks, large telecommunications and cable firms have been flooding the offices of Congress, blasting e-mails and calling aides to try to get them to sign onto letters sent to Genachowski in protest of his push for new "net neutrality" rules.

Staffers on Capitol Hill and at the FCC say the most active lobbyists have been from AT&T -- a company that is historically the largest donor to the political campaigns of members of Congress It has spent more than $8 million in lobbying this year on a wide range of issues, including net neutrality, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Last week, 72 Democratic members of Congress wrote the FCC in opposition to the net-neutrality proposals. Many of them, staffers said, had been encouraged to write by AT&T. And 52 of them received a total of $180,000 in campaign contributions from AT&T this year, according to the Center.

Over the weekend, AT&T's chief lobbyist, Jim Cicconi, reached inside the company for lobbying support, asking its 300,000 employees to write the FCC that net neutrality would severely hurt their business.

AT&T spokeswoman Claudia Jones declined to comment on the company's lobbying on the issue, saying, "Honestly, if you look at letters against net neutrality, they were sent because [lawmakers] had conviction and felt very strongly about it."

Google, by contrast, hired its first Washington staffer in 2005 and opened its first permanent office here last year, with a staff of 20. It has spent $1.8 million in lobbying this year, compared with $6.8 million by Verizon and $6 million by Comcast. Dozens of venture capitalists and high-tech giants, including Amazon, eBay and Facebook, jumped into the debate this week, throwing their support behind Genachowski's proposal, which would benefit their firms… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Washington Post>

Do the Big Telecoms want to reduce congestion, as they claim?  Probably.  Is that the only reason, or even the major reason they oppose net neutrality?  Hell no!!!

The biggies like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast want to charge content providers a fee for faster throughput.  That cheats their own customers.  We all have our own Internet services, and except in rare cases where there is community access.  Most of us have different tiers of service from which we may choose.  When I had XYZ, they offered several different bandwidth speeds according to what I wanted to buy.  Under net neutral rules, the only limit on the speed at which I could receive content is the speed of the connection I bought.  That’s fair.  If I wanted faster, I could pay more.  However, if I’m paying for throughput at one speed, and the telecom company slows it down, because they want to sell me competing content or because a competing competing content provider is paying the telecom company to slow down competitors’ content, the company is cheating me out I the bandwidth I  am purchasing.  Make sense?

Furthermore, Big Telecom has a right-wing political agenda.  All the majors, except Qwest, were in bed with the Bush/GOP regime, criminally spying on Americans.  When this story first broke, it was bloggers who brought it to the attention of Americans.  The MSM got on board with the story late and reluctantly.  Given the opportunity, do you think Big Telecom would interfere with content from bloggers who are calling for justice against them?

I say, net neutrality is a must!


ivan said...

You'd think the Constittion would have an electronic EDIT on it, like a comment to a blog.

TomCat said...

Ivan, the Republicans think it does.

Jolly Roger said...

It shouldn't be forgotten that they got rid of video they deemed unsuitable over the years, and almost all of that video was disparaging to the moronic monkey.

They can't be trusted. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever.

One Fly said...

This is a must win just like health care.

phil said...

Good, good, good!

Marva said...

I've only got a gut feel on this at the moment. I'll have to investigate further to decide one way or the other. Ignorance is NOT bliss.

Thanks for posting the info, Tom. Now, I can go get eddicated.

TomCat said...

An excellent point, JR. What multi million dollar corporation can be trusted?

Welcome, One Fly, and thanks. Right on!

Amen, Phil.

Marva, you should find this one easy figuring.