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AT&T Executive Pens Open Letter for Permanent Ruling on Net Neutrality

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AT&T wants Congress to make a decision in the midst of the internet freedom discussion and it wants a federal net neutrality law to be passed.

Earlier today, people woke up to find a full-page ad by AT&T on several U.S. newspapers. The CEO of the company, Randall Stephenson, called for clarity after his company suffered from regulatory whiplash over differing internet policies enacted by different government agencies and presidential administrations in the last ten years.

Stephenson wrote:

"It is time for Congress to end the debate once and for all, by writing new laws that govern the internet and protect consumers."

The CEO requested that the Congress should enact an "Internet Bill of Rights" guaranteeing privacy protection, net neutrality, and an open internet for everyone. He also wrote that the law should equally apply across all internet companies.

The request comes a month after the FCC decided to repeal net neutrality regulations. Ever since then, Democrat Senators have been lobbying for this decision to change since the Congressional Review Act permits the Senate to vote on reversing this decision within 60 days. And with less than 30 days left, only one vote is missing from the Senate before they pass a resolution that would restore net neutrality.
Stephenson's letter may seem like a surprise, especially since they (along with Comcast, Spectrum, and Verizon) have since been against the government's attempts to implement the regulation. Back in 2015, AT&T sued the FCC as an attempt of blocking its net neutrality order. This action gave the government more oversight on the broadband industry.

Not to mention, consumer advocates have since been alleging that AT&T wants to favor apps, services and websites over others. This, however, has long been refuted by the carrier. AT&T says that it is committed to net neutrality.

"We don't block websites. We don't censor online content. And we don't throttle, discriminate, or degrade network performance based on content. Period."

But despite its stand, AT&T has been calling for a legislative solution on this issue. The CEO said that AT&T will work with Congress, consumer advocacy groups, as well as its competitors to push for a legislative solution that will be a permanent one.

It's quite a surprise for CEOs to pen open letters like these and purchase full-page ads just to get their letters be read by the public. Will other executives follow suit?


Source: PhoneArena, CNN

15 comments:

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  1. > And we don't throttle, discriminate, or degrade network performance based on content

    That's EXACTLY what they do when they throttled video to 1.5mbit. Is this for real?

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  2. The AT&T guy also wants to take control of one's own website away from the person who creates and edits it. Which destroys the freedom of the press part of the First Amendment.

    Under this guy's recommendation, the nasty political trolls who get deleted at "Prepaid Phone News" would have an inalienable right to post their violent threats and rants here.

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  3. Google spent $18M lobbying Congress last year, more than ANY other company. Their behavior, along with FaceBook, Netflix and other content providers that use 75% of Internet bandwidth should be regulated too. For example, if you give just one Google app location permission, Google shares your real-time location, MAC address, WiFi address, etc over time with ALL Google apps and services. Most people don't know they are being tracked everywhere in real time when they give Maps location permission. Google even does some tracking using the OS when NO app was given permission. This should stop.

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    1. oh come on. what a sideways comment on a post about net neutrality. benefits of google tracking is being able to track your phone if it is lost or stolen. another benefit is being able to retrace where you were -- that is really useful for me to keep a very good exact timeline of my location activities (this is a real feature in google maps, just go into the menu of your google maps app and click timeline, and if you haven't seen that before then shame on you) this is really useful for my jobs and appointments and trips around town as to both time and place. do you use yelp or foursquare swarm or even pokemon go or how about facebook and twitter? they all use location tracking. geez take off your tin foil hat. or just go use an iphone or use a flip phone if all of this bothers you so much.

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    2. Not at all. Google apps are optional, very unlike regional ISPs that are monopolies.

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    3. "Their behavior, along with FaceBook, Netflix and other content providers that use 75% of Internet bandwidth should be regulated too."

      Their behavior should be regulated no difference from any business. Howdver, you seem to be demanding that this optional sites, which are each one choice out of many, be damaged by unneeded regulation to punish them just for being popular.

      Netflix, for example, uses a lot of bandwidth, because it provides shows and movies people want to see.

      Your logic would be like to demand special laws to "regulate" bestselling books just to punish them for being so good that people love them a lot.

      "Most people don't know they are being tracked everywhere in real time when they give Maps location permission."

      Do you even think about what you type before you "publish"? Google clearly SAYS that they will track you when you turn on the map stuff. Besides, it is quite obvious to everyone but you that if you ...GASP... turn on a mapping app, it will know what you are!

      So that is what you are demanding unnecessary action for: the fact that an app advertises and set up to know where you are on a map ACTUALLY KNOWS WHERE YOU ARE ON A MAP.

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    4. Ignorance is bliss, apparently. Read and learn:
      "Google collects an incredible amount of data about you, especially from that device you use most, your Android phone. And it might all happen without your knowledge, a new report explains."
      http://bgr.com/2018/01/24/android-location-history-tracking-google/

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    5. Google tracks you using Bluetooth even when you turn Bluetooth off on your Android Phone:
      https://qz.com/1169760/phone-data/

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    6. Big "oops" on your part... Google only tracks Bluetooth stuff if you have given it permission to track your location. What part of "given it permission" do you not understand?

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  4. I not against corporate america however large corporations like this do not spend millions in advertising to convince the public and to sway the opinions of lawmakers unless there are huge benefits for their corporations. AT&T doesn't care about consumers they care about AT&T their bottom line.

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  5. Don't be fooled to buy into anything this corporate tool tries to sell.
    Net Neutrality is not in the interest of AT&T or any other Corporate ISP/Network so be very careful and suspect in the crafting of any sort of supposed "internet bill of rights" by a congress bought and paid for by these very same corporations.

    The only bill of rights We the People need is a Free and open internet with no restrictions!

    [Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know Now

    When you go online you have certain expectations. You expect to be connected to whatever website you want. You expect that your cable or phone company isn’t messing with the data and is connecting you to all websites, applications and content you choose. You expect to be in control of your internet experience.

    When you use the internet you expect Net Neutrality.

    Net Neutrality is the basic principle that prohibits internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use. Net Neutrality is the way that the internet has always worked.

    In 2015, millions of activists pressured the Federal Communications Commission to adopt historic Net Neutrality rules that keep the internet free and open — allowing people to share and access information of their choosing without interference.

    https://www.savetheinternet.com/net-neutrality-what-you-need-know-now
    .........................

    The Oligarchs are doing everything in their power to clamp down on dissent. If we lose Net Neutrality, they will have succeeded.

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    Replies
    1. What about individual platforms like FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter, etc that block people (excessively during "Net Neutrality" era) from seeing stories & ideologies their employees disagree with? Lots of interference going on here not allowing people to share and access information.

      Please don't say "plenty of competition" out there, because there just isn't. No one belongs to 'the others'

      The major platforms on the internet / social media need to be held accountable for their actions.

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    2. There IS a massive amount of competition. If you don't like that few sites don't go to them. Problem solved entirely.

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    3. Facebook and Google need to be punished by regulators for their greedy, corrupt practices. As WSJ documents below, we need Social Media Net Neutrality if we want the Internet to be free. The censorship of content is now a bigger problem with Facebook and Google than it is with ISPs.
      https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-about-social-media-neutrality-1517175805?mod=searchresults&page=2&pos=2

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  6. A company is happy when it's a part of an oligopoly. Happier as duopoly. Happiest as monopoly. Same goes for shareholders.

    As Joe public, the opposite is true.

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