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AT&T Will Take Your Questions On Broadband Issues

Hultquist

Hank Hultquist, AT&T’s federal regulatory vice president, is taking questions on broadband Internet policy in an upcoming Washington Post piece.

Here is your chance to question AT&T about broadband issues ranging from Internet Overcharging schemes like usage caps and rationing experiments, Net Neutrality, U-verse and DSL broadband expansion, and AT&T’s involvement in the public policy arena.

AT&T is currently seeking major changes to the $8 billion Universal Service Fund that helps subsidize phone service for rural Americans.  AT&T wants to see that fund expanded to subsidize broadband improvements, which will directly benefit AT&T as it is among the top recipients of USF funds.  With 16 million current broadband customers and a service area that extends into the often-rural midwest and southern parts of the country, AT&T could receive a windfall in federal funds to pay for broadband service it doesn’t provide many areas today.

But what kind of broadband service will AT&T offer?  The company recently concluded a trial limiting use of its AT&T DSL service to customers in Beaumont, Tex., and Reno, Nev.  AT&T claims it is currently analyzing the results of that trial, and could bring usage limits on all of its customers.  Feel free to pose your own questions in the comments section of the Washington Post article (reg required) or sending an e-mail to Cecilia Kang ([email protected]) no later than Friday morning.

Scott Cleland, who runs the dollar-a-holler, broadband-industry funded astroturf group Net Competition already has his question in:

Shouldn’t those broadband Internet users (consumers or big businesses), who use the most bandwidth and benefit the most from faster more ubiquitous broadband, contribute relatively more to the Universal Service fund than those consumers and businesses that use much less bandwidth? Isn’t that the basic fairness principle that has long undergirded the current Universal Service fund, which is based on long distance usage/minutes?

Scott Cleland
Chairman, NetCompetition.org an eforum supported by broadband interests

Do you want to pay the higher broadband bills that Cleland advocates?

Kang promises to include as many of your questions as possible and post the Q&A early next week.

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