Don't Believe AT&T's Net Neutrality Lies

Last week, AT&T Senior Vice President Bob Quinn tried (and failed) to undercut Network Neutrality supporters by insisting that Free Press has been foretelling doom and gloom since 2010. That’s when the Federal Communications Commission adopted weak open-internet rules that didn’t cover mobile access. Quinn claims that none of Free Press’ predictions about carriers engaging in mobile blocking ever came true — but he conveniently overlooks how AT&T blocked FaceTime on its cellular networks in 2012 and 2013.

When in this latest piece of AT&T propaganda they accuse Free Press of making falsely dire predictions in 2010, that’s a cool story for them to tell. It’s just not true. Of course, AT&T does accidentally tell the truth from time to time. It’s bound to happen when the company changes its story so often. AT&T contradicts itself from moment to moment and from year to year in different proceedings at the FCC, and then contradicts much of what it says to politicians in the disclosures it makes to its own shareholders. For instance, a lot of the current fight over keeping the Title II Net Neutrality rules is about broadband investment. One of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s main arguments is that broadband investment declined because of Title II. Free Press has shown time and again that Pai’s claim simply isn’t true, and that broadband providers’ aggregate investment has gone up since the FCC adopted the rules Pai now threatens. But more important than these aggregate numbers is what AT&T itself told the FCC back in 2010. It’s nonsensical to expect infrastructure investment to go up every year. Investment is “lumpy”: Carriers build and upgrade networks, then reap the benefits while making new investment plans.

Perhaps it’s time for AT&T execs to quit while they’re behind and abandon their flimsy and hypocritical crusade against Net Neutrality protections. Something tells us they won’t, no matter how many times they pretend to forget all their past statements and misdeeds.


Don't Believe AT&T's Net Neutrality Lies