Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/17/beasties_fight_net_goodfight/

You gotta fight for your right ... to net neutrality

Mike D kicks it with the SEC and carriers

By Natalie Apostolou

Posted in Networks, 17th February 2012 00:22 GMT

Beastie Boys chief protagonist Mike D has put his weighty beats into the net neutrality debate, forcing US wireless carriers to allow shareholders to vote on the issue.

The US Security and Exchange Commission announced this week that wireless carriers including AT&T, Verizon Communications, and Sprint Nextel would be forced to let shareholders vote on net neutrality, following a proposal instigated by Mike D, his wife filmmaker Tamra Davis and agent John Silva, whose book includes the Foo Fighters.

The group had submitted a proposal to AT&T arguing for the rights of shareholders to vote on a resolution that recommended the company “publicly commit to operate its wireless broadband network consistent with network neutrality principles.”

The idea was slammed by AT&T but the SEC intervened stating that net neutrality has become a “significant policy consideration,” which can no longer be excluded from shareholder votes.

The proposal from Mike D provides a compelling argument for net neutrality . In the submission from Trillium Asset Management LLC, which has been driving the effort of shareholder groups and the Mike D posse in the matter, the activists state “open (non-discriminatory) architecture of the Internet is critical to the prosperity of our economy and society.

"Network neutrality rules are also needed to "facilitate the growth of the Internet and give private companies the correct incentives to continue investing in this significantly valuable good," according to a January 2010 report by the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University. The report finds that an open Internet accounts for billions of dollars of economic value for Americans. We believe this economic and social value is an important factor in the growth of our economy and widely diversified investment portfolios.” ®