back to article Telcos try to head off net neutrality rules with legislation

Having tried and seemingly failed to steer the FCC away from enacting new net neutrality rules under so-called Title II legislation, US telcos have turned to Congress for relief. A new "discussion draft" [PDF] of potential legislation was published over the weekend, accompanied this morning by an op-ed in the Wall Street …

  1. elDog

    In other words, don't tell me my mega$ were wasted

    So you TELCOs - you wined/dined/bribed the "people's" representatives and you're going to be upset if they don't let you dictate the rules?

    How arrogant are you!

    And how sniveling are the people's representatives if they can be bought so easily.

    I guess a congressman's salary, fine retirement and insurance, perks up his gazoo aren't enough. Looking towards working for the TELCOs, are you?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In other words, don't tell me my mega$ were wasted

      If it does get past then it only proves that the only good 'peoples representative' is the one that when bought stays bought. What a way to run a country!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Their lobbyists have probably even drafted the language they'd like to see nit he legislation as well. I used to work for a non-profit that lobbied a state legislature about state funding for the disabled. They employed a lobbyist who would draft sample language for proposed legislation and lobby the legislature with it. Imagine writing your own Ts and Cs and running them past your utility company and see what sort of reaction you'd get!

    1. dan1980


      It's likely the same logic that sees PR companies writing reports for news outlets - the TV stations/blogs/papers often just regurgitate what they're given as it saves them time.

      If the politicians can just lift large chunks of text then they don't have to think or work as much and they know that everyone else who is in the same pockets will agree with the wording.

  3. The Nazz

    Everything you need to know about failing democracy

    right there in a short article.

    Lobbying is one thing, make a persuasive argument. Bribery is another matter. Accepting bribes should be criminal, with double penalties applied to those in office.

    1. Nunya Biznas

      Re: Everything you need to know about failing democracy

      Technically bribery is illegal it just that the legal definition doesn't include inferences to campaign contributions and wink and nods to a fat cushy jobs after your term is up. A proper law would forbid government employees from being employed by any entity they have passed laws, accepted bids on services/goods from or joining any industry lobby for the same reasons.

      This law will of course be passed concurrent with me being on a crashing plane that has been struck by lighting while going to collect my lottery winnings while making out with a starlet after having won the nobel prize for breaking the speed of light.

  4. lambda_beta

    Is there anything more to say?

    "The cable industry spent more than any other industry except the healthcare industry on lobbying last year. Comcast spent $12m; AT&T, $11m; and Verizon, $10m."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is there anything more to say?

      Yeah, most of the money went to democratic candidates. Same for the healthcare industry.

      1. lambda_beta

        Re: Is there anything more to say?

        I guess you have lots of data to back that up. No? Or are you pushing air out of you ass?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Let's try to delay and run out the clock, hoping that a Republican president is elected in 2016 who can replace Tom Wheeler with another former industry lobbyist who hopefully remains true to his masters.

  6. Tom 13

    El Reg authors really ought to learn some US law

    before going off on a politically motivated screed against a major US industry.

    "Trying to refrain, or 'forbear,' from applying most of Title II’s 1,000 heavy-handed requirements while selecting only a few (as proposed by Chairman Wheeler and the White House) will make an FCC order impossible to defend in court because picking and choosing between who gets regulated and who doesn’t will look arbitrary and politically driven to appellate judges," he argues.

    This isn't some throwaway line like The Big 0 filled his speech with last night. One cable company or Telco suing the FCC for assuming legislative powers WILL get the decision thrown out by almost every court* from the bottom all the way up to SCOTUS. There's a big glowing line between the legislature and the executive branch, and the executive branch is not a king or dictator.

    *I expect a few lower courts in Cali that routinely substitute political prejudices for legal reasoning would uphold the FCC power grab.

  7. earl grey

    huge political contributors to Congress

    Better get those checkbooks out and buy a few more.

  8. phil dude


    Google might well start to spoil all their greedy plans if Tony Stark Elon Musk get's his way...


  9. Vic

    "Forbeared" ?

    There's a handy page on conjugating the verb here. A brief skim leads me to believe it's at least largely correct...


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