Republican Congress to build an “Internet Bill of Rights” that would provide his company to get about the expected rise in state laws that try to defend their citizens from hungry telecoms, now that telecoms have gotten their way.
AT&T may also have difficulty getting consumer advocates on the committee. Stephenson didn’t give any specifics, including whether the bill of rights would block suspect “fast lanes” for services and sites that pay broadband businesses for special treatment.
“We don’t block websites. We don’t control online content. And we don’t throttle, separate, or degrade network display based on content. Period,” Stephenson wrote.
Well, that’s good. I suppose we should just take your word for it. Or not. As BGR writes today, AT&T sent out some texts to their consumers explaining how they are “expanding” their sponsored data program to allow other businesses to “sponsor” data. What’s relevant about this is that their “sponsored” data plan means that businesses will pay AT&T in order to have their content flowed on AT&T customers’ devices without hitting against their data plans. As BGR rightly points out, this is the progression of the internet “fast lanes” by almost any definition.
As of right now, the only three services using AT&T’s sponsored data plan are DirecTV, UVerse, and Fullscreen. By a huge chance, those are three video services owned by AT&T. “Now your plan includes sponsored data. This means, for instance, that customers who have DirecTV or U-verse TV can now run movies and shows … without it including against their plan data,” AT&T told customers in a text report earlier today.
This flies directly in the face of an announcement AT&T made just last year when it was investigating to persuade consumers that the FCC’s net neutrality repeal wouldn’t be the end of a free and open internet. “AT&T intends to manage its network the same way AT&T operates its system today: in an open and translucent manner.
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