On Monday a report [PDF] from Common Cause said that in 2019 and 2020, ISPs spend a total of US$234.7 million to lobby against net neutrality rules and other telecom legislation.
Lobbying From ISPs
Of that US$234.7 million, US$45.6 million was reserved for political contributions. Comcast with US$43 million led the way, followed by AT&T with US$36.4 million, Verizon at US$24.8 million, Charter with US$24.4 million, and T-Mobile comprising US$21.5 million. On average this is roughly US$320,000 per day to fight efforts that would improve the internet for consumers.
ISPs’ fight against net neutrality also involved funding a campaign in 2017 that generated “8.5 million fake comments” to the Federal Communications Commission in order to “manufacture support for repeal,” according to a recent report issued by New York State Attorney General Letitia James.
Net neutrality was the top issue with ISPs fighting the Democrat bill Save the Internet Act. This would have reversed the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality and restored Title II common-carrier regulations. The Democratic-majority House of Representatives passed the bill, but then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the Obama-era act “dead on arrival.”