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Free Press Takes Out Full Page Ad in Washington Post Blasting FCC for Secret Meetings

Phillip Dampier June 23, 2010 Net Neutrality, Public Policy & Gov't 1 Comment

This man could be one of five helping to guide the future of your broadband service. Kyle McSlarrow is the head of the cable industry lobby.

Free Press, the pro-consumer advocacy group, spent $42,000 to alert the public the fix was in at the Federal Communications Commission.

The agency has been holding secret meetings with four (now five) contenders in the battle for consumer broadband reform: Verizon, AT&T, Google, and Skype.  The Washington Post reports this morning the lack of cable industry participation we reported last night has apparently not been a problem after all.  The cable industry lobbying group NCTA is also invited.

Consumers aren’t invited.  Neither is the press.

Josh Silver from Free Press:

“It looks like yet another federal agency is catering to big business behind closed doors and ignoring the American public. It’s inexcusable that the FCC is brokering backroom deals with industry lobbyists, while pretending to run a transparent process. After the financial crisis and the oil spill, you would think the Obama administration would have learned a lesson. But we won’t stand by and watch the Internet go the way of Wall Street and the Gulf of Mexico.”

“Despite the chairman’s campaign to be transparent, it’s doing the same things as the previous administration,” added Silver.

A source at the meeting said the sides were far apart on the issues — telecommunications companies oppose Net Neutrality, content producers favor it.  Telecom companies don’t want broadband oversight, some content producers do.

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