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Chas47448

The FCC is at it again,

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The FCC is at it again, ignoring the public interest to give handouts to massive corporations. This time, Chairman Kevin Martin has thrown the FCC's ethics out the window to rush through the mega-merger of AT&T and BellSouth.

 

Martin is forcing one commissioner, Robert McDowell, to overlook a conflict of interest and rubber stamp the AT&T merger without safeguards for Net Neutrality -- the longstanding principle that prevents Internet providers from discriminating between Web sites.

 

This move could undermine basic freedoms for all Internet users. Together, we can stop Martin:

Stop Martin. Act Now to Save Net Neutrality.

Chairman Martin is racing to deliver special favors to AT&T before the incoming Congress can provide oversight. Commissioner McDowell rightly "recused" his vote on the merger because he had prior business ties affected by the deal. That left the FCC in a 2-2 tie.

 

Rather than negotiate with commissioners in good faith, AT&T and Chairman Martin have resorted to strong-arm tactics to force McDowell to violate his ethical standards and vote for the merger.

 

Congress has begun to respond to Martin's outrageous behavior. Incoming House leaders John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) sent a letter to Martin Tuesday demanding that the merger be handled "without compromising the ethical standards of the independent agency or the individual Commissioners involved."

 

This objection was echoed in the Senate by incoming Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye. He wrote to Martin: "I hope you will reconsider your decision to waive the ethical rules presently precluding Commissioner McDowell's participation and return to serious negotiations with your colleagues at the Commission. These rules and the rules of professional responsibility in general exist for a reason and should not be tossed away lightly."

 

We agree. To stop this unethical abuse of power, we need to make sure other members of Congress know about Martin's action and put a stop to it. Sign this letter to Congress today. Your comments will also be sent to the FCC:

Blow the Whistle on Martin. Save the Internet.

Don't let Chairman Martin skirt accountability and sell out Internet freedom. Take action now.

 

Onward,

 

Timothy Karr

Campaign Director

Free Press

www.freepress.net

 

1. Learn more about how this merger could affect you. Visit www.freepress.net/att

 

2. Read Free Press cofounder John Nichols' Nation article on Chairman Martin's actions.

 

3. Read Free Press Executive Director Josh Silver's Huffington Post blog on the ethics scandal.

Edited by Chas47448

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i'm not convinced that this merger is bad for consumers, nor that it will lead away from net neutrality. it's not like the ma bell of the past that had to be broken up because they were pretty much the only communications provider in the country. today, we have verizon, time warner, at&t, sprint, comcast, cox...to name a few. all of these companies offer multiple communications and entertainment services such as telephone, wireless, cable, satellite, and internet.

 

at&t is actually fighting to stay alive as more and more people move away from traditional landline telephone service (their bread and butter) towards either digital service over cable or wireless service.

 

virtually every one of those companies maintain a monopoly in certain markets. AT&T offers DSL and other services along with their traditional phone lines. They are hardly fighting to stay alive. They are fighting to control the flow of information.

 

For example. Even if you have comcast as your isp guess what....you travel across the AT&T backbone.

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that's completely bogus...there's not a single market in the united states where any one of those companies has a monopoly. if you can only get cable service with comcast, then you can get satellite with dish network or dirctv...if you have landline svc with at&t, then you can get phone service with any of the wireless companies or other landline carriers.

Its not completely bogus at all. Cable is a service separate from satellite and each is not always equal in its own regard. There may be competition for "tv service" but there is not competition for "cable". This is exacerbated by states such as California which are now granting statewide cable franchises. Within the last year or so we have just begun having "real" competition concerning phone service with the widespread availability of VOIP.

 

Your right in a sense, competition is growing because these companys are moving into services that they didnt offer previously but that doesnt alter the fact that each does have monopoly power in certain services. Its like saying the power company doesnt have a monopoly because you can use "solar power".

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