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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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  • Paul Houle: I can believe in AT&T's plan, but not Comcast. For better or worse, AT&T is going "all in" on video and is unlike other major providers in ...
  • Phillip Dampier: Yes, that battle with Northwest Broadcasting, which also involved stations in Idaho-Wyoming and California, was the nastiest in recent history, with s...
  • Doug Stoffa: Digital takes up way less space than old analog feeds - agreed. In a given 6 MHz block, the cable company can send down 1 NTSC analog station, 2-4 HD...
  • Phillip Dampier: Digital video TV channels occupy next to nothing as far as bandwidth goes. Just look at the huge number of premium international channels loading up o...
  • Doug Stoffa: It's a bit more complicated than that. Television stations (and the networks that provide them programming) have increased their retransmission fees ...
  • Alex sandro: Most of the companies offer their services with contracts but Spectrum cable company offer contract free offers for initial year which is a very good ...
  • John: I live in of the effected counties, believe it or not our village is twenty three miles from WSKG Tower, approxiamately eighty miles from Syracuse, WS...
  • Wilhelm: I'm in the Finger Lakes where Spectrum removed WROC-8 last Fall, but we still get other Rochester channels, WHAM-13, WHEC-10 and WXXI-21. I have to wo...
  • dhkjsalhf: "Another classic case of businesses being much smarter than governments." I don't know whether this was sarcastic or not, but I feel it's a sentiment...
  • New Yorker: It makes no sense. I wonder sometimes if raising the limits on how much money rich people giving to candidates could make it more expensive to buy of...
  • New Yorker: Will New York go through with the threat? As an upstater I have seen infrastructure projects drag on in cost and time (eg. 1.5 yrs to repair a tiny b...
  • Matthew H Mosher: Another classic case of businesses being much smarter than governments....

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