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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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  • John: It might be a problem with a person with disablities tries to pay and they charge them....
  • John: Well, time for everyone to start paying them by snail mail, then....
  • Mike D.: And for those who are planning to "cut the cord" after a promotion expires, be aware that Charter is lobbying the new administration and FCC chairman ...
  • Dylan: Huh, that's interesting regarding that Spectrum only saves 3/10 of its customers. Maybe there is something going on. And regarding my own promotion -...
  • Phillip Dampier: You were not on a promotion before which is why you got one this time. One year from now when your bill spikes and you call and complain, they will te...
  • Dylan: It's not that hard to get new customer pricing from Spectrum. I used to be a TWC customer paying $65/mo for 50 Mbps down internet. Once Spectrum came...
  • NM: Phillip, You may be interested in today's online story in Syracuse.com about what Spectrum's customers in CNY think about the merged company: http://...
  • Jim J: Dial tone is dial tone....
  • Julia: Even in life after TWC, if customer complaints remain the same or if a customer service rep claimed to have fixed a problem, but really didn't, you ca...
  • DPNY: As soon as Spectrum took over, my bill went up (a couple of dollars, but still)! I pay almost $250 a month as it is now for the package! I can think...
  • Yuji Saeki: Affordable Broadband unfortunately means "is it affordable for the Cable Companies?"...
  • ScottIn SoCal: PO WNC, I wish you luck! I've been in the same city residence for over 23 years and have not gotten fiberoptic lines here (Verizon FIOS) and based ...

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