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AT&T bites back at FCC’s net neutrality rules

by Todd Haselton | March 12, 2015March 12, 2015 6:00 pm PST


The FCC published a 400-page report on Thursday that details its new rules for net neutrality. At its core, it prevents Internet providers from blocking specific content on networks, from throttling users who consume a lot of data, and from allowing partners to pay for “fast lane” Internet access.

AT&T isn’t happy.

First, the FCC’s rules are important for net neutrality, which argues that the Internet is a utility. It prevents an Internet provider, for example, from stopping a third-party service like Netflix operating on its network to instead promote home-built or approved streaming services. It means you and I can surf the net as much as we like, without having to necessarily worry about steep data caps or other barriers. It also means that one well-funded company can’t pay more to deliver better services than a start-up that doesn’t have as much money to contribute.

AT&T argued on Thursday that the FCC’s net neutrality rules aren’t going to be good for consumers in the U.S. “Unfortunately, the order released today begins a period of uncertainty that will damage broadband investment in the United States,” AT&T senior executive vice president-external and legislative affairs Jim Cicconi said. “Ultimately, though, we are confident the issue will be resolved by bipartisan action by Congress or a future FCC, or by the courts.”

As with everything, there are two sides to every story. AT&T, and a lot of other service providers, believe that competition through investment in networks will naturally offer the best benefits to consumers. For now, the FCC thinks otherwise.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...