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AT&T is Playing the ‘Or Else’ Card with the FCC, Subscribers Could Feel The Pain

December 1, 2014 - Written By Phil Bourget

AT&T is a company that we see making headlines left and right because of smartphone problems, making not-too-consumer-friendly decisions in setting up towers and coverage, and, as of late, throwing their weight around like the big red carrier verizon has historically done.  But this time, the bully is blue and the decision isn’t simply where to put your disgusting carrier markings.  No, this time AT&T seems to be playing hardball with the United States’ Federal Communications Commission. Yeah, AT&T is trying to be rough with the FCC, the regulatory group that will likely approve the pending merger of AT&T and DirecTV.  And it’s not just because of the blue company’s hope to be able to compete with Google Fiber in the coming calendar year.  The blue carrier is apparently pushing for carrier- and ISP-friendly net neutrality laws, which will allow them to do what they will.  But the best part is that there are some subliminal messages, some implied warnings and offerings, to go with these tidings of bad news.

AT&T seems to be saying that if the merger is allowed to go through, then everyone will win, getting Internet service, cable service, and phone service (or have the option of it) all through the big blue carrier.  But, with that, comes the impending passing of net neutrality regulations, laying out in legal stone (so, something similar to cornstarch and water; hard when battered, but pliable as anything is left alone or treated gently) what things can and cannot be done regarding how ISPs ,or Internet Service Providers, like AT&T can do to their service for certain customers.  See, the hint at a message we have gotten, thanks in part to some in-between line-reading by the Washington Post, is more menacing, especially for customers, because it seems as though they are collateral damage in this one.  AT&T seems to be implying that, if harsh and restrictive regulations are passed, there will be a deliberately slow and painful rollout of network upgrades.

Now that’s just garbage, if you ask me.  AT&T has an agenda, and so does any other company trying to make money.  But the customers that make them that money should not be hurt just to show ‘what can go wrong’ with harsh restrictions.  AT&T hopefully isn’t as efficient at screwing its customers as other carriers and businesses, but only time, and the net neutrality regulations, will tell on this one.  How do you think AT&T will manage, especially if it’s the only company to do this (though they likely won’t be, if the restrictions are really that terrible for them) and avoid fire from the various U.S. regulatory groups?  How much of an effect could this possibly have on non-ISP companies that still deal with mobile technology, like the other carriers or their MVNOs?  Let us know down below.