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'Broadband For America' Members Tricked Into Fighting Neutrality
by Karl Bode 02:45PM Monday Jun 09 2014
Last week we directed your attention to an interesting piece at Vice that explored how ISPs are using a variety of astroturf (including completely fake consumer groups, think tanks, paid consultants and lobbying firms) to fight the latest effort at net neutrality rules and Title II reclassification. One of several groups singled out was Broadband for America, a phony "coalition" designed by large ISPs to parrot ISP talking points. I first directed your attention to the group back in 2009.

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Vice has a good follow up piece exploring how many of the groups that are listed as part of Broadband for America had no idea what they were signing up for. Some aren't even aware what net neutrality even is:
Bob Calvert, the host of TalkingWithHeroes.com, a radio program listed as a Broadband for American member, told us that he is not familiar with the net neutrality debate. "My program is a non-political program supporting our men and women who serve and who have served our country and their families," said Calvert, in response to an inquiry from VICE.

Another Broadband for America member, the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals, said it had joined only to support broadband access in rural and underserved areas, not on issues relating to net neutrality or the classification of broadband as a utility. "We will reexamine this endorsement and make a determination whether to continue supporting the coalition should we find that the current policies they are proposing would undermine the original goal of greater access for all Americans," said Dave Pearson, president of the group, which represents rural hospitals in Texas as the name suggests.
Again it's worth noting that if you have to trick, pay or otherwise make up supporters for your positions, your positions probably aren't particularly solid to begin with.

topics flat nest 

Department of Adjustments
New York, NY

2 recommendations

Last Week Tonight

If you haven't seen this ... it is one of those times where taking a few minutes out of your day ... and ... basking in the glory of the insanity of the truth at work here.

Truly ... this guy has Net Neutrality PEGGED.


"The internet ... in its current form is NOT broken (regarding net neutrality) ... but FCC will see to it that will be fixed"

Comcast spent ... 18 Million ... on lobbying in 2013 ... perspective ...

Ranking in lobbying dollars in Washington DC

01) military industrial complex
02) the provider of "Lizard Lick Towing"

oh and lets not forget the new FCC appointment:

"Let's see ... the guy that used to run the lobbying arm ... is now going to oversee
the regulation ... of the very industry ... he lobbied for ..."

That's like ... "being in need of a babysitter ... and hiring a ... dingo ... to watch your baby"...

Even if you don't give a flying flip about any of it ... Oliver is damn funny ...
doing the right amount of wrong


Rosston, TX

1 recommendation

Re: Last Week Tonight

said by cabana:

"Lizard Lick Towing"

Any relation to Camel Tow car towing?

From, »community.ubnt.com/t5/The-Lounge···p/863196

·TekSavvy DSL
Too bad it seems set for only US citizens to respond. Doesn't make sense when the whole planet could be negatively affected by their business decisions. Then again, US gummit don't seem to give a rat's rear end about the rest of the world unless they got oil in them thar hills. Then they figure a way to take it away, directly or indirectly through their worldwide marketing firm, the World Bank.

Tacoma, WA

How about paid shills?

Shills have got to be another of the many astroturfing ways ISP's are using to try and sway public opinion. That is: People who are paid to logon to forums - like these for instance - and pump out the company line all day. People who are apologists for the mediocre service and high prices we face - who try to convince us that [insert company name here] is good and wonderful and how we're so lucky to have what we've got.

That someone is a shill is kinda tough to prove on an individual basis of course. But I'm sure it's well used by the ISP's. They've got millions and millions to spend, and they're nothing if not thorough.

And while there certainly must be brown-nosed morons who really do hold beliefs and values so contrary to their own obvious self-interest, the idea of paid shills espousing the wonderfulness of Comcast, et al, makes more sense.

But then who knows?



5 recommendations


You only have to look at voters to determine who votes against their own self interest without doing any actual research (work). When you can calmly elect a guy who thinks people who can't afford health care shouldn't have any at all, and you are one of those people with no health care, a reality check isn't enough, seek professional help.


Port Orchard, WA

Re: Voters

Agreed. It makes me facepalm when people vote against themselves. (Sorry for accidentally disliking, apparently DSLReports doesn't allow me to un-dislike a reply)
When you calmly elect a guy who promises healthcare for the poor but unfortunately makes it so now you can no longer pay for your own healthcare then there is a problem.

Basement Dweller

1 recommendation

Re: Voters

said by biochemistry:

When you calmly elect a guy who promises healthcare for the poor but unfortunately makes it so now you can no longer pay for your own healthcare then there is a problem.

Promises healthcare for the poor, allows the bill to be re-written to the point where health insurance companies can increase the price exponentially with only a fractional increase in service.

there's doing it wrong, and trying to do it right and someone else breaking it.

and seriously, two party system people, the same guys in the same seats funded by the same people, they just have a different letter in front of their name, hence why i believe regardless of who was voted in a lobbyist would have been put in charge of the FCC.


Re: Voters

"regardless of who was voted in a lobbyist would have been put in charge of the FCC"

The Firefox alternative.



Familiar story, look at Dan Rayburn

Once regarded as a source of knowledge on CDNs and streaming, Dan Rayburn is now plugging the cable/telco lobby agenda. Only, like the rural broadcasters who got duped, he never announced he was taking money for his "factual" bloggings, it juset happened overnight and everybody got duped.

Kudos to Karl and others for calling people out for this stuff.



It figures- people are TOO stupid to look things up before endorsing them.

So "Broadband for America" was a front? Q'uelle Suprise Suprise! This is the norm today for people that just skim over the story and never bother to look up who and what is behind the story. Remember the "McDonalds' workers strike for higher wages" story? Yeah- every comment I read on every article pertaining never noticed the phony socialist free housing coalition that actually was behind that crappy fake-out. This tells me two things- that we as Americans have become ignorant and lazy. We don't ask questions, we don't investigate (and the McD's wages story would take one second on Google to find out the real thing behind that ostensible "wages" B.S.)

We DO live in Idiocracy- that film was no satire.