AT&T and several other companies, including Kickstarter, Vimeo, and Etsy, last week petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn Obama-era internet regulatory rules. Here we go again, again.
AT&T’s continuing fight to repeal net-neutrality shares so much in common with the GOP healthcare bill that they may as well start being packaged together. Both of them keep getting shot down, but like any grade-B horror movie-icon from the 1980’s, they keep returning in increasingly more stupid forms as shitty sequels to an already terrible premise.
The head of the FCC, Ajit Pai, appears to be struggling to find a way to justify his existence to the people who matter most: internet service providers (ISPs) with deep pockets and very specific expectations for the politicians they support. He’s named personally as an advocate for AT&T’s latest evil plan to fuck up the internet, in the petition.
While AT&T’s lawyers make it perfectly clear the company believes the Obama White House pressured the nation’s courts into defying previous court rulings that protected AT&T and its ilk from being regulated like a utility. This regulation prevented ISPs from destroying the internet by letting Comcast and AT&T, for example, meter bandwidth based on company preference.
TNW has published numerous articles in defense of net-neutrality, even beseeching our readers to help tell our politicians that we support a free and open internet. The FCC was overrun with millions of comments that said the same. Overwhelmingly the American people and most companies have shown support for net-neutrality, including (wait for it) AT&T.
We covered AT&T’s pointless attempt to stand beside Google, Facebook, and hundreds of other tech companies in the fight for net-neutrality – while it was simultaneously the most vocal voice in trying to have net-neutrality repealed.
The ambiguous nature of the company’s have-it-both-ways stance on net-neutrality has it seeking to repeal the Obama-era rules and replace it with new, better rules; the kind that are drafted by AT&T lawyers. Don’t be fooled; it’s the same bullshit plan with a different angle-of-attack.
AT&T is currently trying to manipulate the conversation by having politician Ajit Pai represent them in lieu of his duty to the American people, a tactic that has failed twice already.
AT&T and its gang of salivating lawyers may never end the ridiculously transparent money-grab of a quest to destroy the free and open internet. But overwhelming support from Silicon Valley and tech journalists seem to indicate that, like most of the American people, those who know what’s at stake won’t ever stop fighting the enemies of net-neutrality.