As we’ve noted in previous posts, our critics like to call us an “astroturf” organization, which would imply that we’re hiding the identities of the companies and organizations that are among our members, only to turn around and slam us for not even being very good astroturfers because our website lists the companies and organizations that are among our members.
Well, you can’t be friends with everybody. But the accusations of astroturfing overlook the fact that there are some unique and persuasive individuals who oppose new “neutrality” legislation. One of them is Jim Lippard, a blogger in Phoenix who works in the telecom field, and has an impressive grasp of the facts.
It so happens that he recently defended our recent Flash animation from misleading attacks by the Save The Internet campaign:
In what follows, I’ll quote directly from the “Save the Internet” response (including the quotes from the “Hands Off” cartoon they are responding to) and then respond to each point.
The big telecom companies say: “Is the Internet in Danger? Does the Internet need saving? It keeps getting faster. We keep getting more choices.”The truth: Right now AT&T and others want to take away your choices and control what you can do and watch online. They’re on their best behavior while trying to convince Congress to hand over the Internet. But if their high-priced lobbyists get their way in Washington, the Internet as we know it will be gone. Network Neutrality has always curbed the control of the network owners, invited competition and encouraged innovators. It’s what made it possible for entrepreneurs and creative thinkers to prosper online. None of the big ideas that made the Internet the innovative engine it is today came from the cable or telephone companies.
Notice that there’s no evidence supplied to support the claim that “AT&T and others want to take away your choices and control what you can do and watch online.” What the telcos want to do is build new last-mile consumer services by installing a new fiber-to-the-home infrastructure, over which they can offer services in addition to and distinct from the public Internet, just as they currently offer voice telephony as a service separate and distinct from the public Internet.
Specifically, they want to offer digital television services and potentially new services which they control, following the model of the cable industry. The telcos’ real desire is to compete with the cable industry and be regulated in much the same way. They further want to be able to charge content providers to be able to provide services over this new fiber, because they know that consumer fees alone are not sufficient to recover their costs in rolling out this new infrastructure.
He goes point by point, and does an excellent job of bringing their spin to a halt.
And if you still haven’t seen the Flash animation being discussed, you can see it right here: dontregulate.org.