Verizon Lobbyists: That Deaf, Dumb And Blind Kid Sure Could Use An Internet Fast Lane

from the to-paraphrase-the-who dept

As we've discussed, big broadband companies love to pretend that their anti-competitive efforts will somehow benefit less powerful groups. It's a cynical ploy that goes back to the famous statement about GM that "what's good for GM is good for the country." It is even more cynically done here, since it often involves marginalized groups, allowing the big companies to tug on heart strings of politicians, while actually making life worse for those marginalized groups. The latest in this arena, according to Mother Jones, is that Verizon lobbyists are swarming Capitol Hill telling folks in Congress that it needs to be able to offer "fast lanes" on the internet to help deaf, blind and disabled internet users. Of course, there's a big problem with this -- namely, the groups that represent those folks appear to disagree.
Three Hill sources tell Mother Jones that Verizon lobbyists have cited the needs of blind, deaf, and disabled people to try to convince congressional staffers and their bosses to get on board with the fast lane idea. But groups representing disabled Americans, including the National Association of the Deaf, the National Federation of the Blind, and the American Association of People with Disabilities are not advocating for this plan. Mark Perriello, the president and CEO of the AAPD, says that this is the "first time" he has heard "these specific talking points."
The basic argument is that if true net neutrality is allowed, then somehow, magically, Verizon and others won't be able to offer priority services that are more "necessary" for these groups. Except, of course, that's not even close to true. There are plenty of great and useful online services for these different groups, most of which are built by organizations that are not Verizon and which actually rely on the fact that they don't have to double pay the big broadband providers to make sure their offerings work properly.

Even more to the point, though, this lobbying effort makes it pretty clear that, contrary to FCC boss Tom Wheeler's own claims, Verizon (and AT&T and Comcast) recognize that the current FCC proposal will, in fact, enable "fast lanes" and "slow lanes" on the internet. It's even more obvious from the fact that AT&T has flat out come out in favor of the current proposal.

Either way, lobbyists playing cynical games to rope in groups that don't want their help in support of breaking net neutrality just shows how incredibly desperate the big broadband players are getting in trying to block any real shot at net neutrality.

Filed Under: blind, broadband, cynicism, deaf, disabled, fast lane, lobbyists, net neutrality
Companies: verizon

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2014 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re:

    "The fast Lane is idea is not about the actual bandwidth required, but rather about last mile ISPs being able to charge content providers to provide enough band width for a smooth delivery."

    That's what the fast line idea originally started out as. Now it's being spun as a health and safety issue, thanks to the disingenuous arguments of Verizon lobbyists.

    All such disingenuous health and safety arguments, I can successfully knock down all day long using purely factual statements on how technology actually works.

    Such as Quality of Service (QoS) packet prioritization being stated repeatedly to not be a viable solution to traffic congestion. The only viable solution is traffic congestion, is network upgrades to relieve that congestion.

    Which major last mile ISPs refuse to do at Internet Exchange Points (IXP). Due to their desire to extort money out of competing video services. Forcing them to raise their subscription costs and hindering new startup video services from coming to market.

    As said earlier, the biggest obstacle facing deaf mobile internet users is data usage caps, not bandwidth. Verizon's main market is wireless mobile services. They've almost completely abandoned their land line service, leaving their land line infrastructure to rot and decay.

    It just pisses me off Verizon lobbyists are attempting to disingenuously turn this into a "health and safety" issue, using blind and deaf persons as disposable pawns.

    To top it all off, it's Verizon who's writing the script for the lobbyists to read, and they manage to get all the technical facts completely wrong by stating bandwidth is the issue facing deaf people. Instead of stating the real issue for these people, which is low data caps so they can sign language over video call apps.

    I just enjoy shooting down all of Verizon's false arguments, using facts that are impossible for them to dispute.

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