Comcast Can’t Be Trusted to Self-Regulate

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35

Comcast Can’t Be Trusted to Self-Regulate

Cable Giant’s Revisionist History Shouldn’t Sway FCC from Protecting Internet Users

WASHINGTON - As
the Federal Communications Commission crafts rules to safeguard the
open Internet and considers whether to approve a $30 billion mega-merger
between Comcast and NBC, the nation’s largest cable and Internet
company claims it doesn’t need any oversight. In a speech delivered on
Monday to the Brookings Institution, Comcast Executive Vice President
David Cohen said that “self-governance” was the best way to regulate the
Internet and suggested that the debate over Network Neutrality be put
“behind us — check the box and move on.”

Josh Silver, president and CEO of Free Press, made the following statement:

“Comcast is trying to rewrite history and whitewash its long record
of underhanded -- if not outright illegal -- activity. The fact is that
Comcast was caught interfering with lawful Internet traffic, lied about
what it was doing, and tried every trick in the book to evade public
scrutiny. Then when the FCC forced the company to stop discriminating
against its customers, without even levying a fine, Comcast sued on a
technicality to avoid any accountability.

“Now Comcast claims it was vindicated and can be trusted to regulate
itself. The company even has the audacity to complain about too many
lawyers being involved in the Net Neutrality debate. This is hard to
swallow from a company that employs at least 100 lobbyists from 30
different firms. Maybe Comcast could demonstrate its commitment to
self-governance by redirecting some of those millions into its networks
or customer-service operations.

“All the lip service about consensus and the refrains of Kumbaya in
David Cohen’s speech would be more believable if his company hadn’t
taken every opportunity to attack the FCC, pour millions into astroturf
front groups and campaign contributions, and undermine all efforts to
encourage fair competition and a level playing field online. The reality
is that the only thing that is keeping Comcast honest is clear rules of
the road and a real watchdog to enforce them. With Comcast trying to
take even more control of our media by merging with NBC, strong Net
Neutrality rules have never been more needed.”

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Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net

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