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Title: AT&T fights to keep your internet as slow as possible
Source: Daily Kos
URL Source: http://www.dailykos.com/stories/201 ... -internet-as-slow-as-possible?
Published: Feb 9, 2016
Author: Joan McCarter
Post Date: 2016-02-09 16:59:34 by Willie Green
Keywords: None
Views: 130

 Last February, the Federal Communications Commission made history by taking sweeping action to promote a fast, fair, and open internet. Their net neutrality ruling made the most headlines, but a second ruling preventing states from blocking localities seeking to develop municipal broadband was nearly as huge. Both have been fought tooth and nail—and taken to court—by industry. That's made Chattanooga, Tennessee, ground zero in a war financed by AT&T.

Chattanooga, Tenn., is more than 2,400 miles from Silicon Valley, but residents of the Southern city have access to broadband that's 50 times faster than the majority of Internet connections in technology's capital. Why, you ask? Chattanooga's municipally owned electric utility, EPB, provides its broadband Internet.

Chattanooga's neighbors would like to set up a similar arrangement, but AT&T, which delivers much slower broadband in the area — when it delivers at all — is trying to block the plan, saying the government should not compete with private enterprise.

Angry Tennessee consumers and legislators aren't backing down. "Don't fall for the argument that this is a free market versus government battle. It is not. AT&T is the villain here, and so are the other people and cable," said Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Tenn.) at a community rally, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Just let that sink in for a second—Chattanooga residents enjoy broadband 50 times faster than Silicon Valley, and it's a local government that provided it. Which makes AT&T's claim that government interference is what's getting in the way of their advancing technology ring pretty hollow. In the news article referenced above, an AT&T flak, Daniel Hayes, actually said "[p]olicies that discourage private-sector investment put at risk the world-class broadband infrastructure American consumers deserve and enjoy today." As if AT&T were actually providing world-class broadband. As if AT&T gave a flying fig about providing world-class broadband to the millions of people who are trapped in markets where it has a stranglehold. They care even less about people in rural communities that don't have service at all.

What AT&T is trying to do in Chattanooga definitely has an impact on the rest of the nation—they want to put a stop to municipal broadband there. They want to bully other states and localities and prevent them from doing what Chattanooga has done—actually deliver world-class broadband, with no profit at all going to AT&T. 

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