AT&T and BellSouth Have Already Said So
I’m not political. I don’t ask people to do things for causes. This not a cause. This is an emergency. The merger was almost approved this week. The AT&T-BellSouth merger hands over incredible power. THE MERGER ESTABLISHES A A DE FACTO MA BELL DSL MONOPOLY IN 23 STATES, that is to say new enterprise would be the principal or the only provider available.
The Judiciary Committee has already approved the deal, avoiding a court review. The FCC came close to letting it go through this week, but postponed their response at the last minute, because of letters from people like us.
We’ve got about two weeks to stop what they’ve already said they will do.
According to the Washington Post:
William L. Smith, chief technology officer for Atlanta-based BellSouth Corp., told reporters and analysts that an Internet service provider such as his firm should be able, for example, to charge Yahoo Inc. for the opportunity to have its search site load faster than that of Google Inc.
He’s not alone. Ed Whitacre of AT&T told Business Week last fall:
Now what they would like to do is use my pipes free, but I ain’t going to let them do that because we have spent this capital and we have to have a return on it. So there’s going to have to be some mechanism for these people who use these pipes to pay for the portion they’re using. Why should they be allowed to use my pipes?
Sir Tim Berners-Lee said the following in the New YorkTimes article “NeutralityÃ¢â¬â¢ Is New Challenge for Internet Pioneer an Interview on Net Neutrality with Sir Tim Berners-Lee” By JOHN MARKOFF Published: September 27, 2006.
. . . if the United States ends up faltering in its quest for Net neutrality, I think the rest of the world will be horrified, and there will be very strong pressure from other countries who will become a world separate from the U.S., where the Net is neutral. If things go wrong in the States, then I think the result could be that the United States would then have a less-competitive market where content providers could provide a limited selection of all the same old movies to their customers because they have a captive market.
Meanwhile, in other countries, youÃ¢â¬â¢d get a much more dynamic and much more competitive market for television over the Internet. So that youÃ¢â¬â¢d end up finding that the U.S. would then fall behind and become less competitive until they saw what was going on and fixed it. I just hope we donÃ¢â¬â¢t have to go through a dark period, a little dark ages while people experiment with dropping Net neutrality and then, perhaps, put it back.
Tell the FCC Net Neutrality Is Not Negotiable
Since Wednesday, when the Department of Justice gave their blessing to the AT&T BellSouth merger, more than 20,000 people sent letters to the FCC asking for a Net Neutrality condition to be written into the merger.
freepress.com says this above the letter.
Don’t Let Ma Bell Monopolize the Internet
The AT&T and BellSouth merger would resurrect the Ma Bell monopoly that ruled communications for decades. But this new corporate behemoth would no longer control just phone calls. The new AT&T wants to become gatekeepers to all digital media — television, telephone and Internet — at the expense of the free and open Internet that so many Americans rely upon.
Send a letter by clicking the logo below. It takes only seconds.
I’ve been following this story since March 18, 2006 when I wrote this piece about Doc Searls and Walter Cronkite. This is the first time I have asked anyone to act . . . Now is the time when you need to. One more letter could tilt the balance.
–ME “Liz” Strauss