You Can Stop Worrying, Ed Whitacre Pinky Swears To Preserve Net Neutrality

from the that's-a-relief dept

Are the net neutrality debates over already? Speaking at a conference, AT&T chairman Ed Whitacre reportedly claimed the company has no intention whatsoever to prioritize data in any way. That sounds nice, but forgive us for expressing the slightest bit of doubt that Whitacre truly is a telco turncoat. Whitacre has a history of obfuscation when it comes to the issue, and the fact that it comes in the midst of a fierce legislative battle certainly makes the timing suspicious. There’s no reason to unnecessarily stoke the flame at a time like this. But if Whitacre really has changed his tune, he should be asked to rebut some of the claims put forth by the other telcos, such as packet prioritization being necessary to ensure a high-quality internet experience and how the telcos need total autonomy over their government-subsidized lines in order to fund future upgrades. If Whitacre does this, it will set AT&T apart in the eyes of many customers, possibly giving them a boost in the face of some hits to their reputation. Otherwise, they have to expect that the broad pro-neutrality coalition will continue to be skeptical.

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