AT&T Statement re: President Obama’s Plan for the Government to Regulate the Internet

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on November 10, 2014 at 11:56 am

The following statement may be attributed to Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President, External & Legislative Affairs:

“Today’s announcement by the White House, if acted upon by the FCC, would be a mistake that will do tremendous harm to the Internet and to U.S. national interests.  It is a complete reversal of a bipartisan policy that has been in place since the Clinton Administration—namely, to treat Internet access as an information service subject to light-touch regulation.  This classification of Internet service has been upheld by the Supreme Court and has enjoyed strong Congressional support for nearly a generation.  Now, with one statement, the White House is telling the FCC to ignore this precedent and to instead impose on the entire Internet—from end to end— onerous government regulation designed in the 1930s for a Bell phone monopoly that no longer exists, not for a 21st century technology.  This will have a negative impact not only on investment and innovation, but also on our economy overall.

“For a generation, the Internet has been an American success story.  Light-touch regulation has encouraged levels of investment unprecedented by any industry and spawned incredible innovation.  Today’s action puts all of that at risk – and puts it at risk not to remedy any specific harm that has occurred.  Instead, this action is designed to deal with a hypothetical problem posed by certain political groups whose objective all along has been to bring about government control of the Internet.  The White House is proposing to put the Internet and our economy at risk as a result of such political pressures.

“We feel the actions called for by the White House are inconsistent with decades of legal precedent as well as Congressional intent.  Moreover, if the government were going to make such a momentous decision as regulating the entire Internet like a public utility, that decision is more properly made by the Congress and not by unelected regulators without any public record to support the change in regulation.  If the FCC puts such rules in place, we would expect to participate in a legal challenge to such action.”

Comments (13)

The fact is America has some of the slowest access and highest rates of developed countries. And I am supposed to feel bad that the Federal Government wants to correct the situation?

Super G November 10, 2014 at 12:05 pm

THANK YOU for making this public statement. We have got to stop this out-of-control President!

Rebecca Adkinson November 10, 2014 at 1:16 pm

We’re tired of being treated like cattle and having some of the slowest and unreliable speeds in world. The US has ridiculous prices compared to the global market. Regulation is the only way left to us to make you and other ISPs do your job. So please stop your whining and do your job and this wouldn’t be an issue.

Krenn November 10, 2014 at 3:24 pm

It is tough to take a statement like this seriously when it’s coming from a major corporation after every penny they can squeeze out of their customers. It is indisputable factually that classifying the Internet as a public utility will make it more difficult for telecoms like ATT to charge customers even more money for a service they already enjoy free from corporate greed. Your profits are healthy ATT, your CEO doesn’t need a second yacht.

Besides, it would seem that the people side with the president.

Aaron Edell November 10, 2014 at 3:57 pm

They are doing this to stop the regional monopoly that exists today with ISPs, namely you, and Comcast/ TWC. The American people need the internet classified as a public utility because it should be a public utility!
there are some people who choose not to have internet because only one company provides it to their area and companies are starting to charge very high for internet once they realized that telephone and cable services arent the big money items anymore
if net neutrality rules are not put in place i would bet that there would be much more heavy handed control of the internet by big businesses ISPs if given the chance than anything put in place by the government which if put forward like proposed is only in place to protect the common people from corporate shills like AT&T, who only are concerned with just how much they can make in the near future.

James W. November 10, 2014 at 4:12 pm

First it’s Google Fiber now this…HOW DARE YOU! OBAMA is just asking for a level playing field. Whats wrong with equal access for all? Of course, it preventives AT&T from screwing the consumer. You bastards throttle my internet and then complain when the government steps in to do whats right. Every time a company steps in to do the right thing you complain…. Why do you think AT&T is one of the most HATED companies in the world????

DR Rob November 10, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Maybe if your service was worth what I pay I’d be willing to be on your side. But when I see what people paying for Google Fiber compared to your service it is an insult and slap in the face.

It’s funny how you mention the Bell monopoly when you have Comcast buying Time Warner leaving me with either AT&T or Comcast to choose from and I’m “lucky”, because most people in America they don’t even have an option its either one of the three ATT Comacast or Verizon.

It’s sad we have to look at Google as our savior when the Telecommunication companies just try and find ways to rip people off. We all seen what you did in those areas where Google became your competition you guys up’d your speeds to compete while leaving the pricing for existing customers the same. So why do I pay $60 a month for 24Mbps down yet people in Austin are paying $70 a month for 1Gbps! thats only $10 more then what I’m paying for 24Mbps. We all know why you did it though. Talk about a slap in the face to the rest of the country.

brandon bolton November 10, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Slowing access to information is not a hypothetical problem, it is a real problem. Internet access is a necessary tool for everyone, not something that only the rich should be able to use efficiently.
Throttling internet speeds is detrimental to the national interest. Telecommunication companies should be nationalized.

Fe Dup November 10, 2014 at 4:54 pm

i don’t know about you, but there is a broadband monopoly where I live in a large metropolitan area. in fact, that’s true for at least 30% of Americans. and instead of competing, you are trying to stop municipal broadband providers who could break the monopoly (or LACK of providers) for many Americans.

Arr Ell November 10, 2014 at 9:02 pm

1. Plaintiff/Appellant seeks redress from each FCC Commissioner and the U.S. Attorney General for allowing the communications privacy and computer fraud crimes allowed in communications used in interstate commerce under color of law by failing to regulate interconnected wires as “Communications Act of 1934” Title II common carriers. These wires use the [sic]“Internet” wire communications protocol defined in the “Communications Act of 1934” in 47 U.S.C. §153 ¶(59)* exactly like follows.


The term “wire communication” or “communication by wire” means the transmission of writing, signs, signals, pictures, and sounds of all kinds by aid of wire, cable, or other like connection between the points of origin and reception of such transmission, including all instrumentalities, facilities, apparatus, and services (among other things, the receipt, forwarding, and delivery of communications) incidental to such transmission.

Curtis J. Neeley Jr. November 11, 2014 at 12:11 am

I’ve been one of your customers for a number of years, and in that time, I’ve seen ZERO INNOVATION in regards to my home internet service; yet I see those buzzwords in your marketing materials often, please tell me where is this innovation which you guys are responsible for that are going to be so hurt by being treated like a public utility?

How much profit do you really need?

Frankly, I’m sick of living in the most advanced third world country when it comes to internet service due to ‘innovations’ in pricing strategies and throttling the speeds by companies like yours.

Get over this, and give up this fight; support your customers for a change!

Mark McGee November 11, 2014 at 7:50 am

The sad truth is that govt regulation of the open internet would totally destroy a great resource. You think it’s slow now. Classifying it as a utility would end its usefulness. And the at&t’s and vzw’s wouldn’t be hurt at all. They would abandon internet buildout and focus on private corporate backbones.

Internet Engineer November 11, 2014 at 9:38 am

We all know you just want to keep screwing us and businesses out of a lot of money.. The Internet needs to be classified as a utility, which is not the same as “government control.” Political grandstanding at its finest.

Face it: Regulation means infrastructure will replace outrageous executive profits.

Jake November 15, 2014 at 12:24 am

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