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AT&T claims to support net neutrality and joins Day of Action protest

By Jos ยท 9 replies
Jul 12, 2017
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  1. The so called "day of action" in support of net neutrality just gained an unlikely 'ally' in AT&T, as the telecom giant announced in a blog post that it plans to join the action. The irony is not lost to several news outlets and pro-Net Neutrality groups, who were quick to call out the company for its well documented assault on a healthy, open internet for over a decade.

    "Tomorrow, AT&T will join the 'Day of Action' for preserving and advancing an open Internet," AT&T's senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs Bob Quinn wrote in a blog post this afternoon. "This may seem like an anomaly to many people who might question why AT&T is joining with those who have differing viewpoints on how to ensure an open and free Internet. But that’s exactly the point – we all agree that an open internet is critical for ensuring freedom of expression and a free flow of ideas and commerce in the United States and around the world."

    AT&T, which in 2012 blocked customer access to Apple FaceTime unless they subscribed to more expensive plan, says they agree that no company should be allowed to block content or throttle the download speeds of content in a discriminatory manner.

    AT&T is among the carriers that are lobbying to reverse FCC's reclassification of broadband providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act — the very same thing that today’s protest is trying to prevent. In fact, the wireless carrier already sued the FCC in 2015 over this and lost, but after Republican Ajit Pai became the FCC’s chairman this year, the commission has sought to scrap those rules, arguing they are too heavy-handed.

    AT&T, which in 2012 blocked customer access to Apple FaceTime unless they subscribed to more expensive plan, says they agree that no company should be allowed to block content.

    AT&T’s Bob Quinn argues that earlier FCC rules already "tackled the core issues of blocking, throttling, and anti-competitive paid prioritization" without the need for reclassifying providers as as common carriers. And that its legal battles with the FCC’s current regulations shouldn’t diminish the fact it believes in the principle of an open internet.

    Quinn fails to mention, however, that the FCC used its Title II authority to implement net neutrality rules and other consumer protections only after the original rules AT&T claims to support, were vacated by a federal appeals court in response to a lawsuit filed by Verizon.

    AT&T plans to signal its support for net neutrality in a series of banner ads on its websites, apps, and channel guides that link to a webpage that details the company's opinion on the issue.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2017
  2. SirDigby

    SirDigby TS Evangelist Posts: 482   +157

    Hypocritical but welcome nonetheless.
    SirChocula, Reehahs and liammac002 like this.
  3. domyz

    domyz TS Booster Posts: 29   +34

    Reminds me Saudi Arabia joining the UN Women's Rights Commission. But I'm not surprised: the biggest the organisation is, the dumbest they tend to think the population is.

  4. willisgreg88

    willisgreg88 TS Rookie

    Just another PR stunt by a corporate giant...

    perhaps what they're really thinking is:
    Reehahs and psycros like this.
  5. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,972   +2,276

    My bet is that this is only for the sake of appearance. PR is everything these days, and if this makes AT&T appear to be supporting NN to lawmakers, AT&T will likely have accomplished their goal.
  6. Bruce V Wayne

    Bruce V Wayne TS Booster Posts: 25   +62

    From what I have seen and read, TECH JOURNALISTS are the worst when it comes to corporate and social issues like this. To me, they are a bunch of young kids/adults who are applying their limited knowledge to real world matters. I remember Daniel Rubino was lecturing us about FAKE NEWS. He said that all news should be free to be released and up to him and his colleagues to filter out what the truth from the non-truth. Yah...right (lol).

    Seriously....tech bloggers have no concept in real world economics. Any regulation on an industry will cause higher prices. That is not a theory...it's law. Just look at Obamacare. Not only is it going broke, but everyone who can afford healthcare is paying up to the roof for coverage.

    Net Neutrality = BAD IDEA.
  7. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,437   +1,894

    Congrats you win 2nd place on the "stupid things said this week" contest. Donald Trump Jr. is in first place.
    mbrowne5061, avioza and MonsterZero like this.
  8. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Evangelist Posts: 565   +323

    At least they HAVE coverage under Obamacare.
  9. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,208   +669

    Health care cost increases have been at a lower rate than what was predicted for the same time period if the ACA was not in place. This is a well documented fact, easily verified with a simple Google Scholar search. Now, let's stick to the topic at hand instead of dragging in irrelevant (and in this case, false) arguments to draw false parallels with.

    While I agree that Tech Journalists are usually lacking the same kind of moral fiber of 'real' journalists, I would say this comes from their lack of formal training, not lack of experience. Stop making this a 'young vs. old' argument, age is irrelevant when it comes to journalistic integrity.

    I am unfamiliar with Daniel Rubino. Perhaps provide some links to some of his work that clearly states his opinion? I do not trust your ability to objectively look at this topic right now, since you've demonstrated a pretty strong bias.

    As for Economic law when it comes to regulation, the only mathematic law I am familiar with that says anything on the topic of rules applied to an economy is Nash's equilibrium. Nash's equilibrium, simply put, states "Individuals make terrible decisions for the whole". Nash's equilibrium is a well respected mathematics law when it comes to making decisions regarding the economy, and it is well recognized that it stands as an argument in favor of putting rules in place to regulate individual decisions. So, no. It is not "law" that regulating an industry causes higher prices - that one is theory - but what is law is regulations help to ensure economic stability, and stability trends towards growth and increasing value. So, if you know of a law of mathematics that supersedes Nash's equilibrium in the mind of economists that states "regulation=bad", please bring it to my attention.

    Now, if you can, please intelligently expand on why Net Neutrality is a bad idea. All it does now is place internet access in the same regulatory silo as water access: the price you pay is fixed per-unit, and what you do with that unit is your business, not the distributor's. No one can charge you more per-unit to take a shower over taking a bath. Let's no forget most of the industry wealth from the internet is generated by the services that are available online, not by ISPs themselves that facilitate access. Curtail access, and you curtail the rest of the market that is available only online - including the three companies vying to be the first to break a $1 trillion USD market cap (Apple, Amazon, Microsoft).
    Kevin82485 likes this.
  10. Kevin82485

    Kevin82485 TS Booster Posts: 175   +47

    Very well put. From what I have read, small ISPs are afraid that the end of Net Neutrality will lead to further monopolization because the larger ISPs will try to make more money off their existing customer base instead of continuing to expand. Big ISPs won't want to lay a two mile line to reach 5 houses.

    Also, small ISPs are concerned that larger ISPs will use paid traffic agreements and privacy-invasive ad-tracking policies to force smaller providers out of the market, by selling to subscribers for $5 to $10 a month less than the small ISP because they have these behind-the-scenes revenue sources that fall to them as a result of the overturn of the privacy protections and the re-categorization of Title II.

    Net Neutrality is not going to increase prices, but if it did, at what price would one want to sacrifice their privacy and browsing history to be sold to whoever wants it? Honestly, I would rather pay more than have some marketing company know all about my browsing habits.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017

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