Lobbyist for AT&T and Verizon publishes a threat to "aggressively" sue any states that pass net neutrality laws

Jonathan Spalter is the CEO of Ustelecom, a telcoms lobby group funded by AT&T and Verizon; in an op-ed on the lobbyists' site, he threatened to "aggressively" sue any state that passes net neutrality rules.

Much of Spalter's editorial consists of a hymn to federalism, in which he repeatedly asserts that states do not have the right to make telcoms policy, because that is the exclusive province of the federal government.

Spalter does not mention that during the Obama administration, his employers backed a successful lawsuit against the FCC in which states asserted that the federal government could not overrule state laws that banned cities from creating municipal networks.

Spalter also repeatedly describes the Obama-era Net Neutrality rule as an illegal overreach.

Spalter does not mention that his backers lost a lawsuit in federal court in which they argued that the Obama administration's Net Neutrality rules were an illegal overreach.

Spalter formerly served in the Clinton administration and was a Al Gore's chief international affairs spokesperson and speechwriter.

Spalter complained that the net neutrality debate has gone on too long. "No one will get the years of time back that’s been spent on a 'net neutrality' debate long on circular, heated rhetoric and painfully short on honest, constructive dialogue," he wrote.

But the net neutrality debate might have ended years ago if USTelecom and other broadband industry groups hadn't opposed the federal standard. State lawmakers only decided to enforce net neutrality at the local level after ISPs convinced the FCC to abandon its nationwide oversight of net neutrality.

AT&T/Verizon lobbyists to “aggressively” sue states that enact net neutrality [Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica]

(Image: Ustelecom)