Telcos Exploiting Their Bully Pulpit

Just read an interesting anecdote reblogged at SaveTheInternet. Apparently, AT&T’s astroturf group TV 4US is now telemarketing to ask people:

“The internet is going to be more expensive, because big companies like Microsoft and Google are wasting all our bandwidth. Do you think consumers should pay for that? Or should the big companies that are wasting the bandwidth pay for that?”

Of course, by “wasting bandwidth” they mean, “when AT&Ts customers decide to watch videos or listen to audio online, using the bandwidth the customers paid for.”

I guess that means when AT&T promised me 3 megabits of download on my DSL line, they didn’t actually expect me to use all of it. That’s like going to 7-11 to buy a 32 oz Big Gulp, only be told that you can only fill it up half-way with soda at the fountain.

How dare those consumers use all of the internet and force AT&T to provide it to them! How can a business be expected to make money when it’s expect to provide all the bandwidth it promises?

But SaveTheInternet’s Tim Karr explains where all the money is going and why prices will be rising:

What’s really costing consumers isn’t Net Neutrality but the phone companies’ multi-million-dollar campaign to kill it. Companies like AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth have spent tens of millions of dollars on canned phone calls, advertisements, DC lobbyists and phony front groups to squash our genuine grassroots effort.

Where do you think they get that money? That’s right. A portion of your phone bill goes towards creating campaigns that are designed to deceive consumers into acting against their best interests.


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