by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
lobbyists, net neutrality, politics

at&t, verizon

Telcos May 'Agree' To Net Neutrality Legislation... That They Like

from the regulatory-capture dept

The telcos, mainly AT&T (at the time, it was still SBC) and Verizon, were really the companies that kicked off the whole "net neutrality" craze a few years back, by making totally ridiculous claims about how online services should double pay for bandwidth already paid for by users. Since then, they've fought as hard as possible against any sort of "net neutrality" legislation. However, with the FCC deciding to try to reclassify internet access and gain (somewhat limited) regulatory power over certain aspects of broadband, suddenly reports are coming out that these telcos might be willing to agree to legislation on net neutrality.

It's not too hard to read between the lines here. What it means is that they've now crafted legislation that will look like net neutrality regulation, but will have so many loopholes or exceptions, that it does nothing of the sort. This has always been my fear around net neutrality legislation. The telcos have very good lobbyists, and once they got done with the law, it would almost certainly do the exact opposite of what the public was being told. Once you open up this kind of regulatory pandora's box, you're just asking for regulatory capture, where the actual text of the bill is tailored to the industry's interests.

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  • icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), 18 Jun 2010 @ 2:36pm


    Business as usual, then.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael Peterson, 18 Jun 2010 @ 3:05pm

    You mean SBC&T?

    The "new AT&T" is just the old SBC. They acquired AT&T, swallowed them up, and changed to their name, hoping everyone would forget how much SBC and Cingular had sucked. A UVerse installer told me last month his paychecks still say SBC.

    I fully expect anything they do to screw over as many consumers as possible, all while maximizing returns for their shareholders. With SBC's earlier reaquisition of nearly all the Baby Bells, it's pre-breakup Ma Bell all over again, only with the collusion of Verizon and the cable providers under the illusion of competition.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2010 @ 3:41pm

    Space Invaders in Law :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Hephaestus (profile), 18 Jun 2010 @ 4:57pm

    Anyone have $100k ??

    In the past I have built stock trade engines (computerized trading systems) for the bargin basement price of $100k I will build one for you. There are two conditions, one - it is only to be used to take over ATT-SBC, two - upon taking the company over you compete with other service providers to remove the local monopoly in ISP's.

    Any takers?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jay (profile), 18 Jun 2010 @ 9:55pm


    Look how much money they put into Congress

    No wonder they can get away with destroying internet innovations.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    CJ (profile), 19 Jun 2010 @ 12:17pm

    What really makes me mad is when I bring up the subject of net neutrality to consumers... They say... "So?" When I try to explain to them what is at stake. they say "Big deal!" I just don't think enough has been said at what the consumer could loose if net neutrality were to be lost. The whole idea of net neutrality is being hidden within the oil crisis, wars, terror alerts, etc. It needs to be out front, so the consumer can REALLY see it for what it really is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tek'a R (profile), 20 Jun 2010 @ 9:24am

    The industries also love this plan since it takes the burden off of them.

    "whats that? you are receiving bad connections due to the 'neutrality filter'? gee, we would like to help, but we were forced to install that by Law, so our hands are tied. Of course, if you upgraded maybe we could.."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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