Feeds

Net neutrality foes outspent backers by over three to one – and that's just so far

Lobbying efforts quite one-sided, say monitors

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

The companies who oppose net-neutrality regulations are pumping far more resources into their lobbying efforts than those who support the measures.

This is according to the Sunlight Foundation, a non-partisan government watchdog that has tracked both spending and lobbying reports on the issue in recent years.

The group said in a blog post, issued shortly after the FCC announced its proposal for new net neutrality regulations, that the top donors opposed to stronger regulations – including AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast – outspent open-internet advocates such as Google at a rate of more than three to one.

"While the dispute over network neutrality is often thought of as a battle between giant corporations, it's clear from the data that over the lifespan of this issue, the pressure has been far from equal," the Sunlight Foundation said.

"The leading opponents of neutrality (largely the internet service providers) have devoted significantly more resources to lobbying than the leading supporters of net neutrality (largely the big tech companies)."

Sunlight Foundation graph: 'Total lobbying expenditures of the top 20 organizations with most reports mentioning net neutrality'

Hardly seems to be a fair fight, eh? That is, if you believe lawmakers can be bought ...

In addition to spending more on their campaigns, the report found that groups opposed to net neutrality rules are more proficient in their lobbying efforts. Releases of lobbying reports opposed to net neutrality outpaced pro-neutrality reports 472 to 176.

Carriers naturally have been opposed to the FCC plans, which they feel put constraining and unnecessary government regulations on their businesses and industry, while net neutrality advocates say government intervention is necessary to keep operators from creating tiers of service in which users are subjected to deliberately throttled or prioritized performance of certain platforms and services.

That is not to say that net neutrality has not been without its own powerful backers. Earlier this month a who's-who list of tech companies including Amazon, Microsoft, eBay, and Netflix publicly came out in support of net neutrality efforts. Google, which has been an outspoken advocate, was listed by the Sunlight Foundation as the second-largest spender, pouring more than $18.2m into pro-neutrality lobbying.

However, the Chocolate Factory was the only one of the top five spenders to support net neutrality. The National Cable and Telecommunications Association claimed the top spot, spending $18.8m, while AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast racked up spending tallies ranging from $17.4 to $14.6m. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.