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AT&T Sends Anti-Neutrality Screed To Employees
Chock full o' talking points...
by Karl Bode 08:45AM Tuesday Oct 20 2009
AT&T recently told us they unsurprisingly support the FCC's existing network neutrality principles, given they're fairly wimpy and are currently are being challenged by Comcast in court. However, AT&T isn't too keen on the FCC's plan to add additional principles that would give the FCC the ability to actually enforce them or extend them to wireless -- nor is AT&T particularly thrilled by Congress's latest effort to impose network neutrality law. As such, AT&T's circulating a new letter to employees urging them to oppose network neutrality.

The letter, which continues AT&T's attempt to conflate traffic pumping and other practices with network neutrality, informs employees that the new guidelines would "drive up consumer prices, and burden companies like ours while exempting companies like Google." AT&T's chief policy guru Jim Cicconi urges employees to head over to the FCC's broadband website, and bombard the agency with five AT&T-cooked up talking points using their "personal e-mail accounts" so it doesn't look like AT&T is pulling the strings.

The talking points are the usual contextually oblivious fare, with Cicconi informing employees that the wireless industry's so competitive, innovative and frankly awesome -- that intervention or policy adjustment is unnecessary. Given such e-mails are often designed to nudge apathetic or uninformed employees to action, the screed of course makes sure to frighten employees by linking the new rules automatically to job cuts:
quote:
The "net neutrality" rules as reported will jeopardize the very goals supported by the Obama administration that every American have access to high-speed Internet services no matter where they live or their economic circumstance. That goal can't be met with rules that halt private investment in broadband infrastructure. And the jobs associated with that investment will be lost at a time when the country can least afford it.
Essentially it's more of the same policy posturing we've grown used to from AT&T. In just a few sentences, the company manages to distort the neutrality debate, ignore its own faults and decades of anti-competitive behavior, frighten its own employees, and threaten to halt network investment if things don't go AT&T's way. Of course if AT&T wants to remain in business as a network operator, they can skimp on network investment at their own peril. A few beefed up FCC rules (likely crafted to handle only extreme anti-competitive infractions) won't change that.

Meanwhile, Multichannel News explores how a number of civil rights organizations are complaining about the FCC's decision to allow blog comments during the seven-day period when sunshine rules prevent lobbying of commissioners on public meeting agenda items. Is urging your employees to spam inaccurate talking points at the FCC website really helping the process or improving the quality of the conversation? Not so much.

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matrix3D

join:2006-09-27
Middletown, CT

1 edit

Typical Large US Corporation

I'd really like to hear some AT&T mouthpiece explain how these rules would "force" them to halt investment in their own network(s). It's more like them threatening that they will no longer invest in their own network if these rules are enacted -- which is fine by me because it means AT&T would tank and other ISPs (who actually invest in their networks) would pick up the pieces. I don't think they're that stupid... or are they?

Killa200
Premium
join:2005-12-02
Southeast TN
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: Typical Large US Corporation

Maybe they meant to say something along the lines of "That goal can't be met with rules that stimulate competition forcing us actually upgrade our broadband infrastructure. And the jobs associated with that investment will be lost, because there is no way we plan to pull the money from our pockets."

funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6

The comments to the leaked memo are excellent...

The leaked memo, as Karl indicated, is here: »www.actuarialoutpost.com/actuari···=3973825

Be sure to read the comments! Suck on that, AT&T!
--
Robb Topolski -= funchords.com =- District of Columbia -- KJ7RL
Test your Broadband connection today! -- »measurementlab.net/

Z80
1 point 77
Premium
join:2009-08-31
Amerika

So AT&T is resorting to Insectillians from the Mother Ship

We would have to ask Riley Martin but I don't even think The Skreed can get this horsecrap passed. O-Qua Tangin Wann.
El Gaupo
Premium
join:2006-07-15
Buckhorn, NM

Re: So AT&T is resorting to Insectillians from the Mother Ship

Have you bought your symbol yet ?

I Use Dial

join:2004-01-04
Morgan Hill, CA

This site cracks me up

One post complains about how Government intrusion into the market gives unfair advantage to special interests while the very next demands yet more Government intrusion. You can't see the forest for the trees.
--
Time... beckoning me.

Rob
In Deo speramus.
Premium
join:2001-08-25
Kendall, FL
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: This site cracks me up

said by I Use Dial:

One post complains about how Government intrusion into the market gives unfair advantage to special interests while the very next demands yet more Government intrusion. You can't see the forest for the trees.
Many of us are looking for a balance between government regulation and free market. It seems that every so often the balance shifts from one end to the other, but never stops in the middle.
--
CheckSite.us | YourIP.us | Reverseip.us

I Use Dial

join:2004-01-04
Morgan Hill, CA

Re: This site cracks me up

said by Rob See Profile...the balance shifts from one end to the other, but never stops in the middle.
[/BQUOTE :


That is completely correct; we get one or the other.

Those of us who argue in favor of the free market do not argue that it will create perfection, but rather that it is the lesser of two evils.
--
Time... beckoning me.

Rob
In Deo speramus.
Premium
join:2001-08-25
Kendall, FL
kudos:2

Re: This site cracks me up

I think that's a terrible way to look at it. Why must we always accept the lesser of two evils? We should be able to find common ground.

I Use Dial

join:2004-01-04
Morgan Hill, CA

Re: This site cracks me up

said by Rob:

Why must we always accept the lesser of two evils? We should be able to find common ground.
Because power cannot be granted to the two parties simultaneously. You either give up control to the Government or you allow the free market to determine its own way. Once the Government has control then the special interests will take over.

The theory of common ground is a nice one, but over 100 years of regulating various industries has demonstrated that once the Government is in control it usurps all power because it has the authority to pass laws, which the market does not have.

The constitution was written to allow the nearest thing to 'common ground' through states' rights. In a true republic the states would be free to regulate these things as they see fit, but the Federal Government has taken those powers away.
--
Time... beckoning me.

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA

Re: This site cracks me up

make it illegal for corporations like AT&T to lobby and participate in election contributions then it will be a hell of a lot better.

I Use Dial

join:2004-01-04
Morgan Hill, CA

Re: This site cracks me up

said by ArrayList:

make it illegal for corporations like AT&T to lobby and participate in election contributions then it will be a hell of a lot better.
There are at least two problems with this. There are already very strict laws on how much money a PAC can contribute, and corporations cannot contribute directly at all. Employees are free donate up to the max of $2400 per election, and people have the freedom of association. The elected officials are already paid off through the employees, so they are only going to create laws that make their positions stronger, like the McCain-Feingold bill, which gives substantial power to encumbents.
--
Time... beckoning me.

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA
Reviews:
·RCN CABLE
·Comcast

Re: This site cracks me up

so are you saying that corporations pay their employees to contribute to campaigns? ok that should be illegal. corporations have no business in deciding how the government is run.

the government, however has a say in how large corporations are run. if not, then who does.

Uncle Paul

join:2003-02-04
USA
kudos:1
said by I Use Dial:

said by Rob:

Why must we always accept the lesser of two evils? We should be able to find common ground.
Because power cannot be granted to the two parties simultaneously. You either give up control to the Government or you allow the free market to determine its own way. Once the Government has control then the special interests will take over.
Hmmm seems to me the special interests are already in control now....

How about we make it so a candidate can only accept donations from individuals (no PACs) and only from those in the district or state they seek to represent.
amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
·KCH Cable

ok...

I don't get it...

Point 5 - "The goal of the FCC should be to maintain a level playing field by treating all competitors the same. Any new rules should apply equally to network providers, search engines and other information services providers."

Wait a sec. Do "search engines" sell me access to the internet? No. What on earth is that sentence supposed to mean? Who the frak are "information services providers" while we're at it?

geese

@twncorp.com

Re: ok...

ATT doesn't like Google.

Rob
In Deo speramus.
Premium
join:2001-08-25
Kendall, FL
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by amungus:

I don't get it...

Point 5 - "The goal of the FCC should be to maintain a level playing field by treating all competitors the same. Any new rules should apply equally to network providers, search engines and other information services providers."

Wait a sec. Do "search engines" sell me access to the internet? No. What on earth is that sentence supposed to mean? Who the frak are "information services providers" while we're at it?
Like geese said, AT&T doesn't like Google.

The "search engine" part was a stab at Google's Voice service.
--
CheckSite.us | YourIP.us | Reverseip.us
billywiggins

join:2003-12-04
Trussville, AL

Re: ok...

"The FCC shouldn't burden an industry that is bringing jobs and investment to the country"

Whose country? India? Ironically, I got my surplus notice yesterday about an hour after that email went out. Our entire work group was outsourced to India. Our 60 day notice expires Dec 18, one week before Christmas...way to stay classy AT&T.

Anybody within the company knows that bullet point is total BS, and its a slap in the face for them to send it out in an email knowing they are outsourcing people across the board.

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA

Re: ok...

billywiggins, sorry to hear that. real bummer there.

Reck Havoc
Premium
join:2002-07-31
Grand Rapids, MI
Sorry to hear that man. It is a bit ironic to use that as a bullet point, when its widely known they have and are in the process of outsourcing more jobs.

Way to bring jobs and investment to India.

Harddrive
Proud American and Infidel since 1968.
Premium
join:2000-09-20
DFW
kudos:2
billywiggins, i want to be clear on this. you actually work for AT&T and got your notice of 'surplus' an hour after this company propaganda went out?
--
I've come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass and i'm all outta bubblegum.

faster5

@sbcglobal.net

can we use net neutrality rules to get usnet back?

can we use net neutrality rules to get usnet back? on att?

Ignite
Premium,VIP
join:2004-03-18
UK
Reviews:
·PlusNet

Re: can we use net neutrality rules to get usnet back?

said by faster5 :

can we use net neutrality rules to get usnet back? on att?
No it can't be used to force AT+T to host Usenet, it could only be used if AT+T are throttling or blocking 3rd party Usenet services.

Alan1973

@sbcglobal.net

I just posted this public comment on openinternet.gov

We'll see if it gets moderated out...

Hope the FCC is aware of these type of ISP shenanigans.... says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
October 20, 2009 at 2:14 pm

As reported by a REAL, RESPECTED CONSUMER ADVOCATE, broadbandreports.com:


AT&T Sends Anti-Neutrality Screed To Employees – Chock full o’ talking points…
from DSLreports – front page
2 people liked this

[then the text of this posting]

Harddrive
Proud American and Infidel since 1968.
Premium
join:2000-09-20
DFW
kudos:2

Did I read this right?

"In addition, letters expressing serious concerns were sent by many state legislators and minority groups, and our union partners, CWA and the IBEW."

when the hell has the CWA and the IBEW been partners with corporate AT&T? oh, its a 'money' thing. if mama Bell ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. well hell, if the Unions are your partners, why doesn't AT&T give better benefits and pay to the Union represented workers at the next contract negotiations? hey Jim Cicconi, next time you think about contract negotiations with the Unions, remember.. they are your partners in crime when it comes to network neutrality.
--
I've come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass and i'm all outta bubblegum.

FastiBook

join:2003-01-08
Newtown, PA

No one..

No one i talk to att is anti-net neutrality, and i talk to people conversationally while they wait for data to come up on their screens etc. I think this needs to be investigated by whomever as it is clearly unethical.

- A
--
LETS GO METS!

Uncle Bell

@rr.com

typical at&t

This is typical at&t. They think they're gonna loose, so they plead with employees to send a letter to congress (and even provide a boilerplate & wizard).

Managers pressure subordinates to send it, and even poll direct reports, on who has completed it or not. at&t is full of some serious horse hockey.

if this is how the 'new at&t' is gonna be, we should be very concerned!