AT&T has sent an email to its staff asking them to contact the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and protest over plans to codify network neutrality.
The email lists a series of talking points that can be used to make objections to the proposed network neutrality standards. It urges staff to contact the FCC using their personal email addresses, and to urge friends and family to do the same.
"We encourage you, your family and friends to join the voices telling the FCC not to regulate the internet. It can be done through a personal email account by going to OpenInternet.gov and clicking on the 'Join the Discussion' link," said the memo from Jim Cicconi, AT&T's senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs.
"The FCC has extended the period for receiving comments by allowing postings to its blog until 22 October. Those who seek to impose extreme regulations on the network are flooding the site to influence the FCC."
The FCC has said that it is looking to codify rules for net neutrality, which would provide a level playing field and stop companies paying to display sites more quickly. The campaign for net neutrality has attracted support from internet firms, but telecoms companies are largely against the principle.
However, Art Brodsky, communications director at non-profit lobbying org anisation Public Knowledge, suggested that the AT&T move is simply " propaganda".
"The sales force at AT&T stores has a lot to do these days. They have to [placate] customers disappointed over dropped calls and poor service on the overburdened wireless network. They have to explain why the new iPhone data plan is more expensive than the old one, and now they have one more burden: they have to sell the bogus anti-net neutrality message distributed by AT&T's chief lobbyists to AT&T employees across the country," he said in a blog post.
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