After once determining that Net Neutrality policy questions meant that network providers could keep related shareholder statements off of voting ballots, the SEC did an about face earlier this month and ordered AT&T to allow the following shareholder statement for vote:
The proposal requests that AT&T “publicly commit to operate its wireless broadband network consistent with network neutrality principles – i.e., operate a neutral network with neutral routing along the company’s wireless infrastructure such that the company does not privilege, degrade or prioritize any packet transmitted over its wireless infrastructure based on its source, ownership or destination.”
(For some more background, here’s Bloomberg’s story on these developements).
I predicted last March when this issue first came up that it would be yet another way in which Net Neutrality policy would be used to regulate network providers to death. Well, here it is – a new tool to Lilliput network providers into submission.
The FCC already regulates this space. Now the SEC has to stick its nose into this mess. Who’s next – the NLRB? The Department of the Interior?
(I should shut the heck up because it looks like this regulation is off-the-hook, man)
To those public interest groups who said Net Neutrality was a reasonable, limited and surely non-expansive Internet regulation – thanks for the camel, dudes. A fetid, cantankerous one at that.
PS – Note to corporate supporters of public interest groups (PIGs) who think they’ve bought “protection” from the regulatory state: This is what your dollars buy – a knife in the back and a gift that keeps on giving for those PIGs (and government officials).
PS to the PS: Who’s next for this type of shareholder activism? Google? Hmmm…