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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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  • Dylan: Look at their prices. Absolutely ludicrous compared to many companies, especially Charter Spectrum. I pay $60 a month for 100/10 with unlimited data. ...
  • Paul Houle: For a long time communities have been frustrated in that they don't have any power to negotiate with cable companies. This town refused to enter into...
  • Ian S Littman: To be fair, you aren't wrong. Spectrum likely knows it won't have any competition for years in Lamar, so they'll quickly get take rates of >70% (re...
  • Ian S Littman: Are you in an area that can even get Spectrum service? Because in areas where they actually have to compete, they're actually pretty decent now. Yes,...
  • Ian S Littman: A more odd entry in that list is Chattanooga. The entire area has FTTH via EPB. Yet apparently folks can't swing the $57/mo starting price for 100 Mbp...
  • Ian S Littman: The issue here is that the NY PSC's threats have no teeth because, well, who will take over the cable systems if Spectrum is forced to sell? Either Al...
  • Bill Callahan: Phil, National Digital Inclusion Alliance just published interactive Census tract maps for the entire US based on the same ACS data. Two datapoints a...
  • Carl Moore: The idiots that run the cable companies must be also using drugs...a lot of people are cutting their cable services because of the higher rate and inc...
  • EJ: This will require a New Deal approach. Municipals need the ability to either be granted money or loaned money for broadband expansion. Until this is d...
  • Bob: I also got $1 increase for my 100/10 internet from Spectrum. A rep said it's for the speed increase that's coming in 2019. I complained that I was pro...
  • EJ: It makes sense to focus on wireless considering the government contract they have. The strange thing is they referenced fixed wireless in this article...
  • nick: Interesting how they conveniently leave out (Spectrum TV Choice) streaming service which is also $30/mo ($25/mo for the first 2 years)....

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