Distortions and Cable/Telco Flackery

We are disappointed that Scott Cleland would act as “chair” and chief advocate for this anti-open Internet group. Its “members” (really its financial backers) are a rogue’s gallery of some of the most powerful and avaricious big media companies: Verizon, Time Warner, Comcast, Advance Newhouse, and AT&T. This front-group also includes industry lobbying heavyweights NCTA, CTIA, USTA, and ACA. In other words, it’s a cable and Telco joint lobbying venture. The role that the cellular lobby (CTIA) plays here illustrates how both the wireline and wireless industries wish to jointly create a cash and carriage broadband distribution system.

But the “research” and information on is shoddy and reflects a vision promoting monopoly power and greed. Mr. Cleland and his allies should know better. Net Neutrality is about democracy—removing barriers to the distribution of content essential for a civil society to function. That’s why nearly all the consumer and good government groups support network neutrality. It’s not about the corporate welfare of a Google or Microsoft. It’s about ensuring there are as few gatekeepers as possible for content promoting such applications as political speech, civic engagement, non-profit arts and culture, education, life-long learning and everything else we require in a digital society. I don’t have time here to rebut all their assertions (they all all shamefully misleading). This is a mean-spirited, propagandistic website. Mr. Cleland should have the group change its name to more honestly reflect what they are about: netmonopoly.con

Author: jeff

Jeff Chester is executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. A former journalist and filmmaker, Jeff's book on U.S. electronic media politics, entitled "Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy" was published by The New Press in January 2007. He is now working on a new book about interactive advertising and the public interest.

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