The FCC's decision to take up new net neutrality regulations has reached a fevered pitch. And AT&T has taken its lobbying efforts to a new level.
AT&T's top lobbyist, Jim Cicconi, sent a letter to the company's employees urging them to voice their concerns about net neutrality regulations to the FCC ahead of its vote on the issue Thursday. Cicconi, who is AT&T's senior executive vice president of legislative and external affairs, said that employees and their family and friends should log onto the FCC's own net neutrality comment website and express their concerns about the proposal.
"Those who seek to impose extreme regulations on the network are flooding the site to influence the FCC," Cicconi wrote. "It's now time for you to voice your opinion!" AT&T verified the authenticity of the letter.
AT&T has been one of the most outspoken critics of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's proposal to apply new net neutrality regulations to wireless and wireline telecom companies. In the letter, Cicconi laid out some standard AT&T talking points that those commenting could use, including that U.S. wireless consumers enjoy a wide array of choices and that any new regulations should "apply equally to network providers, search engines and other information services providers," a not-so-veiled nod to AT&T's push to get the FCC to regulate Google's Google Voice service as a standard calling offering and not an Internet service.
Meanwhile, in the days leading up to the vote, the commission's staff is still tinkering with the language of the proposal, according to the Washington Post. The FCC is poring over what reasonable network management is and whether managed services such as telemedicine should be regulated under the new rules.
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