Earlier today, 171 of 177 House Republicans signed a letter opposing the proposed actions of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ensure economic growth and to protect consumers.
The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:
“Today’s House letter, combined with that signed by 74 Democrats a couple of days ago, is nothing more than a demonstration of the unparalleled political and lobbying muscle of the telecommunications industry. The biggest companies are spending millions and millions of dollars to buy this Congress. AT&T spent $6 million in the first quarter of this year alone.
“Members of Congress are being pressured to sign letters based on industry threats and bullying not borne out by any facts. Industry investment is not dependent on the FCC’s action – witness the sad record of Verizon in the states it is now selling off to Frontier. Comcast Chairman Brian Roberts, and Verizon Wireless President Lowell McAdams, among others, have downplayed the importance of the FCC’s proposed action.
“The letters conveniently ignore the fact that in the midst of the most deregulatory period on our history, the telecommunications industry has let our country fall in international Internet rankings, has taken away any meaningful competition for consumers and has provided service more expensive and much slower than in other developed countries. The letters also fail to include relevant legal facts and history that make the distortions even more blatant.
“In signing these letters, the members of Congress from both parties are signaling they would rather be captives of industry than see our country try to regain its leadership, protect consumers and defend the vitality and health of the ‘innovation without permission’ culture that produced today’s Internet.”
Public Knowledge is a Washington D.C.- based public interest group working to defend consumer rights in the emerging digital culture. More information is available at http://www.publicknowledge.org
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