Cable lobbyists strong-arm Congresscritters into signing anti-Net Neutrality petition

Robbo sez, "Cable lobbyists are trying to get Congress Critters to sign off on a letter from the industry exhorting FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to NOT reclassify broadband Internet as a Title II common carrier service. It is, of course, complete horseshit and now (even after all the public outcry over Wheeler's patronizing positioning over his own proposed rules) the weasels of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association are looking to get their Congressional lackeys to block any reasonable response to the public will.

"It's a shame members of Congress don't read more than their bank balance - if they'd read anything from Susan Crawford they'd know the rational recourse would be for the FCC to declare the net a common carrier. But with Wheeler at the helm and with the NCTA dicks priming the pump from the shadows we're likely to see further douche maneuvering on the Hill."

Here’s the full text of the cable industry’s letter:

The Honorable Thomas E. Wheeler
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th St, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
May __, 2014

Dear Chairman Wheeler:

I have been following with interest your ongoing proceeding on how best to re-implement the “net neutrality” rules. Like you, I believe it is critical that we maintain a free and open Internet, where consumers are not blocked from accessing the websites of their choice and providers do not use their control over the last mile to stifle competition.

As you consider how best to move forward to achieve these goals, I write to share my concerns with reports that the Commission may be considering achieving these goals by reclassifying broadband Internet access service as a “Title II” common carrier service. In the years that broadband service has been subjected to relatively little regulation, investment and deployment have flourished and broadband competition has increased, all to the benefit of consumers and the American economy.

While we still have further to go to ensure that the benefits of broadband reach all Americans, I am concerned that opening the door to subjecting broadband service to a wide array of regulatory burdens and restrictions, including imposing Title II, might halt this progress. I respectfully urge you to consider the effect that regressing to a Title II approach might have on private companies’ ability to attract capital and their continued incentives to invest and innovate, as well as the potentially negative impact on job creation that might result from any reduction in funding or investment. I share your goals of keeping the Internet open to all. I do not believe that a Title II approach is the best means of achieving this goal for our country.

Thank you for your work on this very important issue.


Tell Congress: Don’t Sign the Cable Industry Letter Against Real Net Neutrality [Craig Aaron/Free Press]

(Thanks, Robbo!)

Notable Replies

  1. The wonderful thing about the current lobbying system is that there are so many varied corporate interests with so much money to spend that any given one of them has only so much influence. It's true the bad guys in any sector can focus on key committees, but even so with multiple committee memberships, any given congressman has influence coming in from all directions. So when there is a true public outcry, they can always give up one little source of support knowing there is plenty more where that came from from other industries and sectors.

  2. The problem with that theory is that ALL the lobbyists represent moneyed corporate interests, and often what is in the public interest does not mean huge profits for any of the corporations who keep lobbyists on the payroll.

  3. Kimmo says:

    ...we're likely to see further douche maneuvering on the Hill.

    You can take that to the fucking bank.

  4. Via reddit:

    Take Action

    (Today only) Tell Congress: Don’t Sign the Cable Industry Letter Against Real Net Neutrality

    Outside the US? You can still participate in this International action asking concerned citizens to "Say No to the Internet Slow Lane"

    Call FCC - *please be courteous

    1. Dial 888-225-5322

    2. push 1, 4, 0

    3. a person will answer.

    4. they will ask for your name and address. you can just give them a zip code if you want.

    5. "I'm calling to ask the FCC to reclassify Internet Service Providers as Title Two Common Carriers."

    6. They'll ask if there is anything else you would like to add.

    7. "No, Thank you for your time."

    8. hang up.

    Call Congress

    Go to OpenCongress & type in your zipcode.

    Pick up the phone and call each of the these folks. Believe it or not, someone will answer the phone, and phone calls make a difference.

    Politely tell the congressional staff that picks up to "Have the FCC classify internet as a Title Two common carrier." Ask them to repeat what they wrote down.

    You can also contact FCC & Congress at

    Spread the word: Have a friend or family member that doesn't understand net neutrality?

    Have them watch this informational video video: 11min; 4min; 2min; read this, or just look at this picture.

    Join the May15th Day of Action to Save the Internet

    Sign-up to join the rally Thursday morning at the FCC in DC

    Sign the NoSlowLane petition

    If your representatives who have signed on to the CPC letter supporting Net Neutrality, make sure to call and thank them.

    If your senators have published a letter to the FCC supporting Net Neutrality, make sure to call and thank them.

    Call the White House and make sure they know you support Net Neutrality

    Show the world what the FCC's "slow lane" looks like and add the #StopTheSlowLane code to your site

    Write a Letter to the Editor for your local paper

    Join or support the protest outside the FCC in Washington, DC

    Share your voice on Twitter. Suggested tweets:

    We support #NetNeutrality and call on the @FCC to ensure companies large and small have equal access to the Internet

    #NetNeutrality and an Open Internet is essential to maintaining a level playing-field for innovation. We call on the @FCC to protect it


    What is Network Neutrality? A Quick Non-Technical Explanation

    How the FCC Makes Its Rules

    Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know

    Big Cable says broadband investment is flourishing, but their own data says it's falling

    Why the tweaks to Chairman Wheeler's proposal reported last night just aren't good enough: Evaluating the FCC Chairman’s Revised Net Neutrality Proposal

    3 Ways the FCC Chairman is Reversing the 2010 Rules

    Why the new FCC Proposal on Net Neutrality is Disasterous for Startups, Consumers, and the Economy

    Net Neutrality Legal Binary.  Explaining "Title II" vs Everything Else

  5. Perhaps there is some self-loathing that leads to those lobbyists committing suicide (or perhaps fake suicides are being set up for those who don't bend to their will)...

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