The following may be attributed to Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs:
“Independent regulatory agencies, by law, are supposed to make their decisions based on facts in the public record and not based on politics or pressure from the White House. Unfortunately, just as it did in the Title II proceeding, the White House is intervening in order to direct an outcome that favors one company viewed by many as its political ally. In fact, it is already claiming political credit for the outcome it has directed. This is troubling on so many levels, and is a blatant subordination of policy to politics.
“This action not only damages the only companies seriously investing to build broadband infrastructure for this country, it also does great harm to the confidence we should be able to have in the impartiality of the FCC’s proceedings. It seems clear this intervention is aimed at muscling Democratic commissioners to support the Google proposal; to do otherwise they would not only have to defy the FCC Chairman but now also the President. This situation is not even remotely fair to the many legitimate factual concerns that have been raised about the Google proposal and its potential harm to consumers, to broadband investment in the United States, to copyright protection, and to the very existence of independent and minority-owned content.
“Earlier this week, the President made clear that his White House would never interfere in law enforcement investigations, obviously because it would damage public confidence in the independent decisions of the Department of Justice and the FBI. It should be equally obvious that White House intervention in the decisions of an independent regulatory agency does great damage to public confidence in that agency’s ability to make impartial and non-political decisions. Sadly, the White House, anxious for political credit, seems unconcerned with the precedent it is setting or the damage it is doing to the FCC. Now all we can do is hope that members of the Commission will decline to collaborate in shredding the remaining reputation of their own agency.”