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Broadband for (Corporate Interests) America Astroturfs the Airwaves

Phillip Dampier August 30, 2010 Astroturf, Editorial & Site News, Net Neutrality, Public Policy & Gov't, Video 1 Comment

Broadband for America is the product of the nation's largest phone and cable companies.

Broadband for America has begun assaulting the airwaves with a high-priced advertising campaign claiming that “broadband is leading the [economic] recovery” but is threatened by “1930s telephone regulations,” urging Congress to get involved to stop broadband reform.

The 30 second ads blanketed cable and several Sunday morning news shows yesterday.

What the ads don’t mention is Broadband for America is actually one giant front group backed by large phone and cable companies.  In a study released last fall, Stop the Cap! found virtually every single “coalition” member, including so-called “independent consumer advocacy groups,” do substantial business with, or have received significant financial contributions or board assistance from companies including AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast.

Well-financed by the telecommunications industry it directly represents, Broadband for America seeks further deregulation and wants Congress to stop the FCC from enacting broadband reforms ranging from “truth in marketing” and billing to Net Neutrality.

The “honorary co-chairs” of the group are Michael Powell, the same Bush Administration FCC chairman that badly bungled the FCC’s approach to broadband policy thrown out in the courts earlier this year, and former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., who left public service for a very lucrative career in “dollar-a-holler” advocacy and working as a lobbyist for the economic-vampire investment bank Goldman Sachs (something Broadband for America left out of his online biography.)

[flv width=”640″ height=”500″]http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/Broadband for America 30 sec spots.flv[/flv]

Broadband for America, a telecom-backed astroturf group, is running these advertisements promoting the agenda of AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast to try and stop broadband reform policies.  (1 minute)

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  • Paul Houle: WatchTV legitimizes the idea of unbundling local channels from cable channels and it is about time. For many consumers, retransmission is a waste, ...
  • 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...

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