Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

For Immediate Release


Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 ext. 35

Press Release

Free Press: AT&T Plan Would End All Oversight of Communications Networks


On Monday, Free Press filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission concerning AT&T's request for the FCC to facilitate the transition to all-IP networks. If granted under the FCC's current broadband classification framework, AT&T’s request would result in the complete removal of all regulatory oversight of our nation's critical telecommunications infrastructure.

Free Press urged the Commission to first address the lingering questions about FCC authority over broadband transmission networks. This deliberation must take place before the agency even considers taking any action that would lead to the removal of all the consumer protections and competitive safeguards Congress enacted for our nation's communications markets.

To read the comments go to:

Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner made the following statement:

"The communications infrastructure that connects us to each other is a critical utility for all Americans. We welcome a dialogue about the appropriate regulatory approach a 21st-century network needs, but we must recognize that telecommunications regulations and the law they are based on exist to ensure interconnection, promote universal service and protect consumer rights.

"But make no mistake: AT&T doesn’t want a discussion about a reasonable regulatory framework. Rather, AT&T is asking the FCC to end all oversight of our nation's communications markets. The company is trying to exploit an FCC-created legal loophole: AT&T previously convinced the Commission that the mere use of IP places a service outside the laws governing two-way communications networks. Thus the otherwise unremarkable progression of telecom technology from circuit to packet switching will now, under the FCC's current framework, result in total deregulation.

"The Commission must confront the lingering and politically difficult questions concerning its authority over next-generation networks. If it doesn’t, American consumers will face increasing prices, accountability-free service disruptions, the loss of reliable emergency communications, second-class services in rural areas, declining competition and the end of the open Internet."


Free Press was created to give people a voice in the crucial decisions that shape our media. We believe that positive social change, racial justice and meaningful engagement in public life require equitable access to technology, diverse and independent ownership of media platforms, and journalism that holds leaders accountable and tells people what’s actually happening in their communities.

'Hold the Line': Progressives Push to Block Vote on Weaker Bill Without Final Text of Build Back Better

"By holding firm on keeping the Build Back Better Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill firmly linked, progressives are giving their colleagues in the Senate the space and the leverage to negotiate the strongest package possible."

Common Dreams staff ·

Will They Lie or Finally Come Clean?: Watch Fossil Fuel CEOs Testify at Historic Hearing

"Will these executives own up to their misinformation, or keep trying to hide behind lies and spin?"

Andrea Germanos ·

Key Global Systems Need 'Complete U-Turns' to Avoid 'Disastrous Tipping Points' for Planet

Which system changes are "on track," meaning transformation is "occurring at or above the pace required to achieve" global climate goals? According to a new report: None.

Jon Queally ·

'All You Have to Do Is Follow the Money': Ilhan Omar Rebukes Corporate Democrats

"It is corporate greed, and the lawmakers who serve them," argues the Minnesota Democrat, "who are betraying the values of our party and the American people."

Jon Queally ·

'Outrageous and Shameful': Dems May Cut Paid Leave Due to Manchin's Opposition

Decrying the plan, advocacy groups vowed that "the American people are not going to allow that essential human need to be ignored and negotiated away behind closed doors."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo