AT&T took matters a bit distant by hysterically telling the company loved net neutrality so much, it too would be joining in the rally a PR ploy that was rather soundly mocked by us and others. But a longer look at AT&T’s “support” in the rally found that AT&T used the excuse to deceive its customers into opposing real net neutrality protections and influenced many to root upon their own self-interests.
AT&T used the day posting emails and other announcements to consumers professing the company’s commitment to net neutrality.
These announcements have some variations. But all of them redirected AT&T customers to this AT&T website where they were shown that AT&T actually loves net neutrality, and were instructed to fill out a form letter AT&T announced it would forward on to “the FCC and your officials.” But the message doesn’t actually promote net neutrality. What it helps is the gutting of the existing popular protections and replacement with a Congressional law.
“Simply put, it is present to stop this regulatory see-saw. Customers need a set of basic online security and competition rules placed in a position that will last longer than the following Presidential administration. Congress should enact a law to guarantee consumers are constantly protected and all internet businesses compete on a level playing field under a single set of rules.”
So in an ideal system, having Congress craft a net neutrality law does sense especially because it would end the game of bi-partisan patty cake that happens every time a new administration takes office, probably ending fifteen years of net neutrality dispute. The problem, as we’ve transcribed several times, is that we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a system where Congress is bogged down in endless partisan dysfunction, and companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast have extensive control over both federal and state-level lawmakers.
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