Feeds

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

Lobbying efforts quite one-sided, say monitors

Mobile application security vulnerability report

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know
What do you mean, we've ditched Redmond in favour of IBM?!
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
US Social Security 'wasted $300 million on an IT BOONDOGGLE'
Scrutiny committee bods probe derailed database project
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Australia floats website blocks and ISP liability to stop copyright thieves
Big Content could get the right to order ISPs to stop traffic
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.